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Khallid Hart leaves impact on Marist through highs and lows - Feb 23, 2017


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DAVID EDOLE
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Khallid Hart
Khallid Hart (188-G-95) has seen it all.

In his five years in Poughkeepsie, the Marist College men's basketball team's point guard has scored 1,818 points, earning several Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference honors along the way.

He's also played under three different head coaches, missed one season and much of another due to injuries, and lost 67 more games than he's won.

Hart has been the young star guard playing alongside talented upperclassmen, and the veteran charged with helping talented underclassmen mature.

'I was actually thinking about this the other day,' Hart said on Monday after the team's practice. 'It's crazy to think I've seen everything. I watched the whole school evolve. It's almost like the end of an era here. It's going to be bittersweet.''

On Thursday that feeling might kick in again for Hart, the Red Foxes' rock amid the program's unsteady recent past. He and Kentrall Brooks will be honored during a Senior Night ceremony before the Red Foxes' game against Quinnipiac. It is Marist's second-to-last game of the regular season and its final home game this year before the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament, which starts March 2.

Hart isn't yet sure what the future holds beyond that tournament, but hopes basketball will fit somewhere into the equation. And, wherever he goes next, he plans on taking the lessons he's learned at Marist and using them when necessary.

The biggest lesson, he said, has been perseverance.

' (The experience) has taught me a lot. Even through the lows,' Hart said. 'I learned a lot about team camaraderie and sticking together. I'm going to carry that beyond Marist.'

He's already passed some of that wisdom down, albeit in subtle ways, to the younger corps of Red Foxes.

'Khallid is a really good leader, on and off the court,' said sophomore guard Isaiah Lamb. 'Just learning how to be a leader from him is good. He leads by example most of the time. He's probably not the most vocal guy, but he leads by example by doing his work in class and being the first one in gym.'

Barring a deep run in the MAAC tournament, Hart will graduate fourth on Marist's all-time scoring list. He is only behind former NBA All-Star Rik Smits (1,945 points), Steve Smith (2,077) and the all-time leader, his former teammate, Chavaughn Lewis (2,119). This year, Hart has led the team in scoring at 17.7 points per game, after averaging 20.3 points a year ago to earn Second Team All-MAAC honors.

Still, for as many highlights as he's produced, his teammates were at the center of what he called one of his fondest memories.

Hart remembered an instance in which his team exemplified perseverance: on Feb. 14, 2014 against visiting Siena in his first healthy season.

On Feb. 14, 2014, Marist trailed Siena 64-60 at home with 12 seconds left, when Chavaughn Lewis drove the length of the floor to convert a layup. Jay Bowie then stole the ensuing inbounds pass and hit a 3-pointer from the corner to give the Red Foxes a one-point lead.

The Saints couldn't score with three seconds left and Marist won 65-64, prompting a dog pile at the center of the hardwood.

'We just had a huge mosh pit on the court,' Hart said. 'It was just amazing.'

Hart won the MAAC Rookie of the Year award that season, after sitting out what would have been his freshman season with an injury.

Yet, the highs have come with lows.

Hart was recruited by coach Chuck Martin out of The Sanford School in Newark, Delaware, but never played a game for him. With Hart sidelined, Martin was removed as coach at the end of the 2012-13 season, his fifth at the helm. Hart then played one season under coach Jeff Bower, only to see Bower leave to become the Detroit Pistons' general manager. Current coach Mike Maker took the reins before the 2014-15 season.

Such turmoil, Maker said, only makes Hart's accomplishments shine brighter.

'It's really difficult because when leadership changes, the message changes. It's like learning Russian, English and Spanish,' Maker said. 'Terminology is different, approach is different, expectations are different. And I think they (Hart and Brooks) have had to deal with that on so many different levels.'

Of course, his Hart and Brooks still have time left on the clock. And, the point guard would like nothing more than for Marist to make a run in the MAAC tournament. After the Red Foxes (7-22 overall, 4-14 MAAC) play Quinnipiac (10-18, 7-11), they finish the regular season against Siena in Loudonville Sunday before the postseason commences.

'MAAC tournament is win or go home. So whoever we have on the first night, we're going to go out and play like it's our last, leave it all the court,' Hart said. 'And we'll look at the results after that.'

Maker insists Hart has what it takes to play professionally. And, the coach said, even with more than 1,800 career points, Hart's greatest impact in Poughkeepsie may only be revealed in the future.

'The thing that he has to understand is the dividends - he isn't going to see them while he's here,' Maker said. 'It's impossible for us to replace him, but he's set a wonderful example, matured a lot in the last three years, both on and off the court. I'm really proud of him.'

A.J. Martelli: amartelli@poughkeepsiejournal.com, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports

Marist men vs. Quinnipiac

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: McCann Arena

Radio/On the Web: WKIP (1450 AM); goredfoxes.com

Khallid Hart

Year: Redshirt senior

Position: Guard

Games:107

Points: 1,818

Rebounds: 298

Assists: 230

Steals:133   




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