Former Valley star McCloud joins Hall
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In a case of one Valley High School basketball great describing another, B.B. Flenory once characterized Mark McCloud as “a Dennis Rodman type” of player.
McCloud appreciates the praise, but doesn't see himself wearing outlandish outfits, dying his hair bright colors or getting fired from “The Apprentice” any time soon.
“Well, I don't have any tattoos and I don't have green hair,” McCloud said with a laugh. “As a matter of fact, I don't have any hair.”
Obviously, Flenory was referring to the Rodman who irritated opponents and tore down rebounds for a living with five NBA teams.
Rodman won five NBA championships before being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.
McCloud didn't have that same get-under-your-skin air about him, but he was a gifted player who starred at Valley before a stellar college career at Robert Morris.
He'll also have a hall of fame tag now that he's being inducted into the Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
McCloud, nicknamed “Mac,” will be recognized along with seven other inductees at the 44th induction banquet May 18 at the Clarion Hotel in New Kensington.
“Going into the hall of fame was the last thing I expected,” said McCloud, 49. “You play the game because you love it and you hope to one day look back and appreciate what you've done.”
McCloud was a standout combo guard with shooting prowess, but he played before the 3-point line.
“The top of the key was a normal shot for everybody,” he said.
McCloud started for three years and won two section titles while taking Comcast-TV Channel 3 Player of the Year honors in 1982.
McCloud also earned first-team all-conference twice in football and could have pursued that sport in college. Instead, he began a college basketball career at Waynesburg before formulating plans to transfer to Youngstown State.
But a coaching change occurred at Youngstown — Dom Roselli out and Mike Rice in — and the plans changed.
Rice reportedly was interested in McCloud, but was out of scholarships to offer.
So, he contacted Robert Morris, who found a spot for him.
Nice move. He became a three-year starter in the backcourt and played with Chipper Harris, another Valley product.
When McCloud left RMU, he was third all-time in assists and steals, and seventh in rebounding, which wasn't bad for a 6-foot-3 guard — Rodman would be proud.
McCloud played in the 1983 NCAA Tournament. Most recently, he watched his alma mater shock Kentucky in the NIT Tournament.
“I was in the stands cheering my team on,” McCloud said. “That was a great game and a great win; just amazing. It was shocking coach Calipari could have went anywhere in Kentucky to play that game and he says, let's go (to Robert Morris). It's amazing that he would agree to do that.”
A former Valley assistant coach under Vern Benson, McCloud is busy being a father these days. His daughter, Nicole, 13, is showing signs of her father's basketball talents.
The family lives in Adams Township, which is in the Mars School District.
“I am enjoying being a dad,” McCloud said. “I am working with my daughter and she is progressing. She is a lot better than me than when I was in eighth grade. I am excited to watch her play (in high school). Mars is in Valley's section.”
He also has a son, Jordan, 17. McCloud plans to acknowledge both of his children prominently in his acceptance speech.
McCloud was a scorer in high school, but fanned out his skills at RMU.
“I wasn't looking to score, I just wanted to get on the floor,” McCloud said. “My forte when I got to college wasn't to score a lot of points. I guarded the other team's best offensive player. My role was to start and be a better defensive player. When you get to play for certain programs, your roles and responsibilities change if you want to see playing time.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pa. gaming industry’s growth amplifies siren call for addicts
- Hempfield train crash search called off; no evidence found
- Drenching rains green pastures, bode well for cattle herd expansion in Great Plains
- Good season predicted for region’s boaters
- De Silvestro must take advantage of powerful engine
- Former pitcher Allie happily adjusting to outfield
- Ex-Baldwin, Pitt star Pinkston not giving up on NFL dream
- Roaring Run mountain bike trail to be thrust into limelight
- Coroners, organ harvesting group spar over procurement process
- Unquestionable courage & sacrifice
- Nonprofits in Pa. barely break even, survey finds