Chris Cain's basketball talents caught the attention of Division I coaches during his senior year this season.
The inside and outside game of Pine Bush's 6-foot-8 senior was ready for the highest level of college basketball after he averaged 23.8 points, 10.9 rebounds and 5.9 blocks. College coaches suggested a post-graduate year for Cain, the 2020 Varsity 845 Player of the Year, to build on his 205-pound frame.
Cain has followed the advice, opting to attend Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., this fall in an effort to take his game to the next level.
"It seemed like the right idea to get that extra year," said Cain, who was named to the state Class AA fourth team last week. "It's another year to get better and another year to develop.
"The main thing I'm hearing from coaches is skill-wise, it's there. I just need to get bigger, gain weight and have more weight to throw around."
Manhattan, Holy Cross and Boston University are currently Cain's top three schools. Cain also considered attending Canterbury School in New Milford, Conn., where his former Pine Bush teammate Bryan Powell played during the 2018-19 season.
"They (Cushing) have good connections," said Cain, who visited the prep school during the basketball season and took in a game. "They are the real deal. They graduate multiple Division I kids a year. Some kids are playing at the highest level and it's a very good program."
David Duke, a two-year starting guard at Providence, is among Cushing Academy's recent graduates.
Playing Division I is Cain's ultimate goal. He's looking to continue his family's Division I athletic tradition. His father, Tim, graduated Manhattan as the program's leading scorer in the 1980s. John, his brother, pitched for Manhattan and signed a free-agent contract with the Angels last season. His mother, Alison, was a 1,000-point scorer at Fairfield. Kate, his sister, is Nebraska's all-time blocks leader after finishing her junior season for the Cornhuskers.
Cain hopes a post-grad year will give him additional opportunities to be seen by Division I schools. He isn't leaning toward any of his top three choices even with his family's connections to Manhattan.
"Of course, that's (Manhattan) a great school and I would love to go there," Cain said. "It seems like a pretty good program. I've seen them play and I like them. But, I'm just keeping my options open. I'm hearing from a few other (Division I) schools and I'm just going to see where it goes.
"With the post-grad circuit, there's a lot more coaches around scouting and recruiting. There's open gyms that coaches are always attending. Every week, you have a chance at exposure."