WORCESTER, Mass.--The Coast Guard Academy will have a trio of players inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 22nd as Mark Harris ('96), Sam Cheung ('02) and Jeff Prebeck ('08) will join other honorees representing a variety of categories including coaches, players, teams and special contributors at a major ceremony at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Harris had outstanding success on the hardwood. He became the Bears' all-time leading scorer and rebounder. He finished his career with 1,402 points and 1,134 rebounds, the first player in Coast Guard Academy history to register over 1,000 in each category. Harris is the still the Bears' all-time leading rebounder, is fourth on the all-time scoring list and is fourth all-time at the Academy with 103 blocked shots. He also holds the Coast Guard single-game record with 22 rebounds set vs. Norwich in January of 1996.
Commander Mark Harris, a 1996 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy has enjoyed a successful career in the Coast Guard and he is currently completing a tour in Washington, DC as a member of Coast Guard Congressional Affairs where he is a Senate Fellow. During his playing days, Harris led the Bears to a pair of Constitution Athletic Conference (CAC) Championships and back-to-back berths in the ECAC tournament in 1994 and 1995. During his four years the Bears had a record of 70-32 for an impressive .686 winning percentage. The men's basketball Class of '96 is the last class to have a winning record in each of its four seasons.
Cheung, a 2002 graduate of the Academy, is a member of the Bears 1,000 point club as he finished with 1,049 career points earning first team All-NEWMAC honors once in his career. He became the Bears all-time assists leader with 321 during his playing days a record he until it was broken in 2008. He is currently second on the all-time assists list. Cheung is is also fifth on the Bears all-time list for 3-pointers (171) while playing in 96 games. During his senior year, Sam was asked to participate in several Professional Basketball leagues, including a personal invite from Utah Showcase Camp Director Bob Wood.
Sam became the Associate Director of Recruiting managing and directing nationwide assessment and evaluation of cadet candidates for Academy appointment and later in 2007, he was selected to one of the Coast Guard's esteemed graduate programs. Cheung attended the University of Rhode Island (URI) where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering as well as the University's Transportation Center's "Student of the Year" Award. He finished his 11 year career, back at the Academy, as an Instructor of Mathematics teaching Calculus, Probability, and Statistics. During his military career, Sam earned significant unit, team and individual awards including the Presidential Unit Commendation, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Currently, Sam is a federal employee serving as a Program Manager and an Operations Research Analyst at the Coast Guard's Research and Development Center in New London.
Prebeck, a three-time All-conference selection, led the Bears to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances and during his senior season, the 2007-'08 year, the Bears won a school-record 24 games and made a magical run to the Elite 8. The team won back-to-back New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament championships (2007 and 2008), winning the 2007 championship after finsihing last in the conference during the regular season. Prebeck became the Bears all-time scoring leader finishing his magnificent career with 1,614 points before it was broken the next season. He is second all-time in both scoring and rebounds (1,114) at the Academy while appearing in a school-record tying 109 games.
Upon graduating from the Academy in 2008, Jeff was assigned to Sector Ohio Valley as the Incident Management Branch Chief in Louisville, Ky. Responsible for managing a multi-mission boathouse, he performed the role of LE Boarding Officer and RB-S boat crew member for maritime operations on the Ohio River. After successfully completing his tour at Sector Ohio Valley, Jeff received orders to the Ninth District Command Center as a Command Duty Officer watch-stander in Cleveland, Ohio. Currently occupying this position, he serves as the District Commander's direct representative for proper coordination and execution of Coast Guard maritime operations throughout the Great Lakes region.
Pete Barry, the all-time winningest men's basketball coach at the Coast Guard Academy,who posted a record of 262-216 (.548) in 19 years and led the Bears to the Elite 8 in the 2007-2008 season coached all three of these players.
"All three are unique and had three different personalities," said Barry. "Jeff was the hardest working player I have coached and he was the kind of player that you wanted on the front line. Sam was my favorite recruit and later came back and was an outstanding coach as well as an officer at the Coast Guard Academy and Mark was unbelievable. He had a tremendous work ethic and was a great leader. It is hard to image in this day and age in Division III basketball someone going out and grabbing 18 rebounds night in and night out, he was our horse."
"These three were fantastic players, who had the opportunity to play on some successful teams," added Barry. "It's great to see them honored for all of their hard work during their basketball careers."
The June 22 event will include a series of afternoon panel discussions featuring a number of former NBA and WNBA players who will be inducted that evening, as well as famed coaches, such as John Calipari of Kentucky, former UMASS Coach. Renowned novelist, Harlan Coben, who was an outstanding player at Amherst, will be among the inductees, and will serve as an afternoon panelist.
The event — as much reunion as ceremony — has become one of the largest sports dinners in America. At the last ceremony, the event welcomed over 1,600 people and was a sell out. The 2013 event is expected to be a sell out.
For further information, visit www.nebasketballhalloffame.com.
COMMENTS FROM CURRENT HEAD COACH KEVIN JASKIEWICZ
(who coached against Mark Harris and Sam Cheung and coached Jeff Prebeck)