posted 2012-03-07 20:23:55

A Pair of Hawks Shoot Their Way Into History

Megan McKenna and Mark Courtien both reach 1,000 points

Christian Davies, Contributing Writer

Photo courtesy of Hunter College Athletics
Megan McKenna and Mark Courtien have been getting paired together a lot lately. McKenna, a senior guard for the Hunter women’s basketball team, and Courtien, a senior guard for the men’s team, both major in psychology, have long brown hair, names that start with “M,” and wear the number three.

And now, both have just shot their way into the Hunter history books by becoming the twenty-fourth and twenty- fifth players in school history to score 1,000 career points.

McKenna reached her milestone on January 18, in a home game against Med- gar Evers College. “Last year I got hurt in the very first game so it was a shocking and confusing time for me,” she said. “I am just glad I stuck by this program so that I was able to have the opportunities I had this year. “

Courtien joined her in the 1,000-point club a few weeks later, netting his 1,000th point at Ramapo College on Valentine’s Day. “I went into the game with 999 points and hit a pull up jumper to push it to 1,001. I will definitely never forget that shot,” he said.

Continuing the similarities, both seniors echoed one another in giving enor- mous credit to the coaches and teammates who have helped them along the way.

This milestone was much more than four years in the making. On the way to 1,000, both McKenna and Courtien have put in years of hard work and focus.

“I always played unorganized basket- ball in the park growing up with my twin brother,” McKenna said, “and I just ended up enjoying it so much that I tried out for my high school basketball team when I was a freshman. Ever since then it became a permanent fixture for me and I was able to establish good friends, teammates, memories, and experiences that I will have with me forever.”

Courtien took the dogged, determined approach to the game that is often found in successful athletes. “For me, growing up, basketball was everything,” he explained. “I put in countless hours working on my game with my dad, going to tons of tourna- ments, and playing in different leagues. In a lot of ways basketball has shaped who I am today. My journey has been a long, re- warding one. I’ve given a lot to basketball, but what I’ve gotten in return has made every second of hard work worth it.”

When asked how it would have felt to finish his career just shy of 1,000 points, Courtien was quick to point out what’s most important to him. “In all honesty, to me the team’s success is more important than any individual accolades,” he said, and McKenna shares this team-first at- titude.

As for the future, both stars plan to continue being a part of the game they love. “Basketball will be a part of me some- where, somehow, whether it be coaching or still playing in leagues around the city,” McKenna said.

Courtien added, “I definitely plan on getting into coaching eventually and will continue to play for as long as my body lets me.”

Like all lifelong journeys, the road to and through a great collegiate bas- ketball career starts with a dream and a vision. “Like every other kid who played basketball, I had dreams of playing in the NBA,” said Courtien. I used to imagine myself playing for the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. As I got older, I started to realize that I wouldn’t have a career in professional basketball but still wanted to play as long as I could and go as far as the game would take me.” He and McKenna have already done just that. The Hunter Sportsplex might not be Madison Square Garden, but that does not diminish what the impressive pair has accomplished here. Their hard work and passion have paid off, and both their names will be written side by side in the Hunter history books forever.