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Stafford Trueheart, News Basketball Player of Year, chooses James Madison

The Allen Wilson Buffalo News Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Stafford Trueheart, announced Monday night that he will continue his student-athlete career at James Madison of the Colonial Athletic Association.

The 6-foot-7 Trueheart averaged 20.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 2.5 assists per game in helping Canisius High School win a program-record 26 games last season. Trueheart, who also earned state co-Player of the Year honors in Class A, informed the masses via Twitter at 8 p.m.

Trueheart scored 1,345 points in three-plus seasons for the Blue and Gold, which ranks third in program history. He also started as an eighth-grader at Christian Central and finished his scholastic career with 1,525 points.

He also will leave Canisius as the school’s all-time leader in games played (96) and wins (83).

Trueheart scored 1,003 points the last two seasons in helping the Crusaders win back-to-back Manhattan Cup Class A titles and New York State Catholic High School Athletic Association championships.

As a junior, he helped Canisius win the New York State Federation Tournament of Champions title. Though the Crusaders graduated several key members of that team, Trueheart’s leadership on and off the court played a big role in them returning to the Federation Tournament this season where they lost to eventual champion Albany Academy in the semifinals. He earned a spot for the second straight season on the All-Federation Tournament team.

James Madison went 21-11, losing to William and Mary in the CAA final. The Dukes still changed head coaches at the end of the season, relieving Matt Brady of his duties and replacing him with former James Madison star Louis Rowe.

James Madison plays in the same conference as Hofstra, which is coached by former Niagara bench boss Joe Mihalich.

email: mrodriguez@buffnews.com