Monmouth Academy’s Marcques Houston will finish his high school basketball career Saturday at the McDonald’s Senior All-Star game, but he won’t have much time to dwell on it.
As soon as the game is over, Houston will make the drive from Bangor to Saco to take part in the state’s one-act play festival. Monmouth is presenting Charlotte’s Web, a play in which Houston has three parts, one of them a gander.
“It was a process,” Houston said of the part. “Our director made me walk like a goose.”
Houston’s life is filled with meaningful activity. He’s been involved in student government since his freshman year, serving as class president as a junior and vice president this year. He’s also the student representative on the local school board.
A member of the track and cross country teams, Houston is one of the school’s top students and has also found time to become an eagle scout, one of three in his senior class. He attained his ranking last fall when he raised money and built shelves in the band room at the school.
“It was really a long process,” he said. “It was definitely worth it.”
Houston earned first-team Mountain Valley Conference honors this year and led the Mustangs to the Class C tournament where they lost to Waynflete, the eventual regional champion. The 6-foot-3 Houston scored 17 points in that game and grabbed eight rebounds.
“His post play really improved over the summer,” Monmouth coach Lucas Turner said. “His overall basketball IQ (improved), especially on the defensive end.”
The left-handed Houston said Turner pushed him to use his right hand more and stay on his feet on defensive.
“I’d jump for every shot,” he said of the earlier part of his career.
Houston averaged 13 points and nearly seven rebounds a game this season, but his value to the team eclipsed statistics. One of the team’s captains, he motivated his teammates through confidence and leadership skills learned through his many activities.
“He’s just a well-rounded kid,” Turner said. “He’s very coachable. I thought he was a really good basketball player but he’s a better kid.”
Houston plans to participate in the slam dunk contest and is working on a few stunts. He’s been playing basketball all his life, but considers track his best sport — the 400, 4×400 and triple jump are his best events — and would like to pursue the sport in college. He’d also like to major in psychology and eventually become a sports psychologist. The busier he is, the more he thrives.
“It’s part of my personality,” he said. “I like to help other people and stay involved.”
Playing for the girls A/B East team are Cony’s Emily Quirion, Gardiner’s Ally Day and Messalonskee’s Kelsey Mayo. Monmouth’s Kylie Kemp is playing for the girls C/D West team while Messalonskee’s Jordon Holmes is playing for the boys A/B East team.