HFCC Men's Basketball Team Making Mark

What do you do for an encore when the team you coach had its best record in the college’s history during the 2009-2010 season?

Such is the plight of HFCC Men’s Basketball Coach Abe Mashhour, who guided the Hawks to the district finals last year. The Hawks finished the 2009-10 season 26-4 and ranked fifth in the nation for community colleges.

Mashhour and the Hawks recently returned from a long stretch of road games with a 5-1 record and will play host to Cuyahoga Community College December 4 at 3 p.m.

“We got off to a slow start this season,” Mashhour said, adding, “but we’re starting to come together as a team.”

A record of 5-1 may not be such a bad start, but consider that the Hawks were 18-0 before suffering their first loss last season. However, most of that team is gone due to graduation, with many of the athletes moving on to Division I and II college programs. Community college athletes only enjoy two years of eligibility before transferring to four-year schools.

Mashhour hopes to take the Hawks back to the district finals, which he says is the equivalent of the NCAA tournament’s Sweet Sixteen. He has plenty of talent to get them there.

Co-captains Jamie Stewart and Christian Moon lead the team in scoring. The 6-1 Stewart, along with 6-5 Asaad Robinson, have grabbed the most rebounds.

There are no easy games for the Hawks in the East Division of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association. HFCC begins league play Jan. 5 when they take on Mott Community College at home.

“Mott and St. Clair are two of our toughest league opponents,” Mashhour said.

Along with the new talent on the court, Mashhour is pleased to have former NBA great Terry Mills join him on the bench as an assistant coach. Longtime-area sports fans will recall that Mills played basketball at Romulus High School, where he was named “Mr. Basketball” in 1986 by the Basketball Coaches of Michigan. He went on to play at the University of Michigan before being drafted in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks. He played 12 seasons in the NBA, including six with the Detroit Pistons, before retiring in 2001.

Mills certainly knows a great deal about college basketball. He was an important part of the Wolverine team that went on to win the NCAA basketball crown in 1989. Mills averaged 18 points a game in that championship season.

“Terry has been a blessing for the team,” Mashhour said. “He relates well to the guys. He has so much to offer, and yet he’s quite humble,” he added. Mashhour is in his 12th season as HFCC head coach. But he has other duties as well. In addition to coaching, he serves as HFCC’s interim athletic director and is the principal of River Oaks Elementary School in Dearborn.

“It’s going to be tough during the season,” Mashhour said regarding his three positions.

HFCC fans appreciate the product Mashhour and the Hawks put on the basketball court. The team draws 600-1,000 people per home game. Students with an HFCC ID get in free. Adult admission is $3.

To view the team in action, please visit http://www.youtube.com/user/henryfordbasketball