Some of the state’s best and brightest athletes gathered at the University of Southern Maine’s Portland Campus to be honored in the third annual Varsity Maine Awards. Senior Mike Gilman was nominated as a finalist in early June, by his basketball coach, Chad Pulkkinen, for ‘Play of the Year.’ This was for a shot Gilman made during the Class AA North tournament game against Portland.
Windham had been trailing Portland for a majority of the Class AA North semifinals game until Gilman sunk a three-point shot with the clock winding down. Windham was then able to hold off Portland leading to a very celebrated victory as excited fans rushed the stage after Windham shut down number one seeded Portland, 55-53.
Gilman remembers that game and that moment. “It all went by pretty quick; I wasn’t expecting to be that open. It was just what we needed.”
“A lot of the best athletes in the state are here, so just to be a part of that, I feel pretty good,” remarked Gilman. He said it felt good to be nominated and recognized for the shot, but it was a team goal. He has Coach Pulkkinen to thank for calling the play and his teammates to thank for helping to execute it well.
“Such a monumental shot, not only for Mike, but for the entire team and what they’ve been able to do together over the last three years with me,” commented coach Chad Pulkkinen on why he nominated Mike for the Varsity Award.
Pulkkinen continues, “Without Mike, teammate Nick Curtis as well as some of the seniors, we wouldn’t be in this situation to have recognition of a shot like that.”
Although Gilman was not selected from one of the five finalists, the hard work put forth by him and his teammates have made this town very proud.
Gilman will attend Thomas College in the fall.