Redshirt junior guard Makale Foreman during Stony Brook Men’s Basketball home opener against Yale on Nov. 5. A transfer from Chattanooga, Foreman is averaging 13.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and two assists through six games. EMMA HARRIS/THE STATESMAN

Makale Foreman wanted a new start.

The Kingsport, Tennessee native and former Moc transferred before his junior year at Chattanooga, opting to join Stony Brook in May 2018. The motivation behind Foreman’s exit was Chattanooga’s head coach Lamont Smith joining the Mocs’ staff right before his sophomore year. With Foreman transitioning into a new style of play and feeling that the coaching didn’t allow him to reach his full potential, he wanted out of Chattanooga.

“I felt like it didn’t fit the way I play,” Foreman said. “It was just good to get some new scenery and start over, refresh.”

Back home, Makale had something in common with his brother Malik, starting a new family tradition of college athletics in Tennessee. Malik was a former starting defensive back for the Tennessee Volunteers football team from 2013 to 2016. Makale played defensive back in high school as well, earning All-Conference honors as a senior at Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett High School. Unlike Malik, who signed with the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints and made it as far as the preseason roster, Makale decided football was not the sport for him. 

“I liked playing football, but I didn’t feel like taking the beatings,” Foreman said, laughing. “So basketball is not too much beating around.”

The one unforeseen circumstance for Foreman was former Stony Brook head coach Jeff Boals, who recruited him but left during the offseason to become the head coach at Ohio University. While Foreman’s career has been rife with transition, considering he has experienced four different head coaches, he had other reasons for coming to Stony Brook. He liked the little things that came with it, things that seemed much more stable than the coaching situations he’s experienced in his playing career.

“I liked the campus, the scenery,” Foreman said. “I went to Port Jefferson and liked that. I saw a candy shop I liked, that was nice.”

However, Foreman had to face the consequence of transferring to the Seawolves, as NCAA eligibility regulations forced him to sit out all of last season. This did not sit well with him, yet he appears to be taking it in stride.

“It was stressful not being able to travel or play, but it was a good learning experience,” Foreman said, describing his year off. “I was able to get stronger, improve my skill set. It was a good year for me to take off and just get better at every aspect of my game.”

When it comes to Foreman’s skill set, he prides himself on one big aspect of being a point guard: sharing the ball. “[I am] more of a leader type of guy,” Foreman said. “[I am a] floor general. I like to get my teammates involved first and then get myself involved later.”

Foreman seems to genuinely appreciate that structure of his game. He is content with remaining unselfish with the ball because he knows basketball is a team sport. “That really just jives [with me], seeing my teammates succeed,” Foreman said.

Foreman only averaged 1.8 assists per game at Chattanooga, but with an extra year of chemistry with his teammates and a system that’s more favorable to him, he should be in an advantageous spot to average substantially more this season. 

Don’t forget about Foreman’s shooting ability either, as he averaged nearly 40% from 3-point range in the 2017-18 season with Chattanooga. Given that he’s had an entire year to hone his craft, it is difficult to imagine he will not be better in 2019. He characterized himself as being “able to score at all three levels, but mainly a shooter.” 

Foreman has inserted himself smoothly into the offense so far, averaging 13.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and two assists through six games. Foreman has lived beyond the arc, making multiple threes in every game played. His voice on the court figures to be a big factor in the Seawolves’ success and whether they can push towards their first America East championship since 2016.

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