Down to the final minute of the game, Michael Currin knocked down a 3-point shot to put Archbishop Moeller ahead of all-time rival St. Xavier, 60-27, on Feb. 15, 2019, to continue their undefeated record of 21-0.
Friday nights at the Brisben Family Center in Kenwood, Ohio—about 20 minutes outside of Cincinnati—are always electric. Archbishop Moeller and St. Xavier have always had a rivalry together in the Greater Catholic League South (GCL), dating back 50 years.
The energy on Moeller’s campus on this night, in particular, was incredible, as 1,200 people were celebrating the high school career of Miles “Deuce” McBride on senior night. McBride was a four-year player under legendary coach Carl Kremer, playing varsity since his freshman year. In his junior year playing quarterback for the football team, McBride suffered a mid-foot sprain injury. In storied fashion, Miles returned to the court at the OHSAA Final Four in Columbus, Ohio, and helped contribute to the Crusaders’ first state title since 2007. Now, McBride had the keys to the team in his final season at Archbishop Moeller in search of another title.
“Miles is coachable, humble, a tremendous teammate, athletic and unselfish,” Kremer said. “A lot of guys have exterior swagger, but that swagger may be a mile wide, but an inch deep. With Miles, it is the opposite, he truly believes in himself and that’s why he’s so good in big moments of the game.”
McBride had the help of multiple Division I scholarship athletes in Alec Pfriem (Bellarmine), Logan Duncomb (Indiana), Alex Williams (Furman), Maxwell Land (St. Francis – PA) and Will McCracken (North Carolina-Wilmington) but one teammate stuck out that was not on this list. First-year varsity player Michael Currin was the glue that held the team together. For the West Virginia fans, Currin was the “Gabe Osabuohien” for Archbishop Moeller. The stat line at the end of the game may not be eye-popping but damn will he have an impact on the court.
Currin—who was appearing off the bench his junior year—was a second-generation player under Kremer, as his dad, Joe Currin played for Moeller. When checking into the game, Michael gave his heart and soul for his beloved Moeller family. McBride was getting prepared to lead a team for a state championship run in his senior year, while Currin would be ready to run through a brick wall for his team and keep going—keep these two words in mind for later.
The Crusaders received the one seed in the Cincinnati region of the OHSAA Tournament bracket and didn’t lose a beat—you’ll love some of these scores. Moeller got passed Hamilton HS (60-32), Talawanda HS (58-17), Colerain HS (67-51), Winton Woods HS (57-15), Lakota East HS (47-33) and Centerville HS (59-41), to reach the Final Four in Columbus, Ohio.
Awaiting on the other side of the state semi-final was St. Edward’s out of Lakewood, Ohio. Moeller took care of St. Ed’s, 72-52. McBride finished with 13 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting. Off the bench, Currin checked into the game for 13 minutes, hitting a 3-point shot and dishing out two assists in the win. Archbishop Moeller was now seeking their fifth state championship, while also looking to become the first undefeated team in Division I basketball in the state of Ohio since 1995. The last team Moeller needed to go through? Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary’s.
This was the first and the only year that LeBron James’ alma mater had played in Division I play in Ohio and they made it to the state championship game. Mountaineer fans didn’t know at the time but this would end up being a matchup of future WVU guards, as Miles McBride of Moeller went against Seth Wilson of STVM. McBride was able to have a 16-point performance on 7-of-14 shooting from the field, while Wilson—who was a sophomore at the time—finished with a game-high of 19 points on 8-of-18 shooting.
In the end, it was McBride who came out on top, as Archbishop Moeller defeated St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, 52-44, to complete their perfect season (29-0) and win their fifth OHSAA Basketball Championship in program history.
After winning the school two state titles, it was time for Miles McBride to move onto bigger things, as West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins landed a steal in the recruitment of McBride. Out of high school, McBride was rated a 3-star recruit and was ranked No. 301 in the country, according to 247Sports.
Huggins—before coaching at WVU—coached at Cincinnati from 1989 until 2005 and was very familiar with the Cincinnati high school area. At UC, Huggins coached Moeller alum Bobby Brannen (94-98) and had recruited other Moeller players over the years. Huggins had his full trust in Kremer and knew exactly what kind of player he was getting.
“I’ve known his coach at Moeller in Cincinnati, Carl Kremer, a long time and asked him about him,” Huggins said. “He (Kremer) said, ‘I don’t know about the basketball but he’s the second-toughest kid I’ve ever coached.’”
If you know how Huggs is, that’s all he needed to hear.
As Miles left Cincinnati, Ohio for Morgantown, West Virginia, a spot in the starting lineup opened up for Michael. This was huge for Michael as he was ready to help lead the Crusaders to a potential three-peat in his senior season.
Remember earlier how I said to remember the words, “keep going”? That’s because those words have meant the world to Michael. At the age of nine, the Currin family went on a vacation together to Venice, Florida. Michael and his dad, Joe, were running a race together when Joe lost a shortness of breath. Joe told his son, Michael, “keep going.” Later on, it was discovered that Joe had suffered a heart attack and passed away. Michael took the loss of his father and tried to use it as motivation to become the best man he could possibly be.
“Being able to walk down the same halls as him, have some of the same teachers, play for the same coach that he had, it’s everything that I could’ve asked for,” Currin said in 2020. “It’s a really, really a special feeling that I’ll cherish forever.”
With another talented team including multiple Division I college athletes, Archbishop Moeller was looking for another state title in the 2019-20 season. The Crusaders started 2-0 and then traveled to Akron, Ohio, to have a rematch with St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, where the Fighting Irish got their revenge, winning, 64-59. This loss to the Crusaders, if anything, gave them something to overcome, just some adversity to have. From there, Moeller won 24-straight games, winning the GCL South for the seventh year in-a-row.
Starting in 27 games, Currin averaged 4.2 points per game on 55% shooting from the field and 44% from three. The senior guard also averaged 2.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals. Currin made the All-GCL Second Team and was third in assists in the league. Currin gave efficient numbers, as he was reliable and consistent on the floor.
“He’d (Currin) get on the court, between the lines, I don’t think I’ve ever had a tougher, nastier, competitive dude,” Kremer said. “I mean, if there’s a loose ball, he was coming up with it.”
Sadly for Currin and this Crusader team, the only thing stopping them from completing the three-peat was the COVID-19 pandemic.
The same for Miles McBride at West Virginia, as the Mountaineers were getting ready to start the Big 12 Tournament when their season was ended with no closure. McBride had finished a successful freshman season in his first year playing for Huggins. The 6-foot-2 guard was third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.5 points. McBride was recognized on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.
Both Kremer and Huggins were confident that their teams were hot at the right moment in their seasons.
“(A team) we like to believe was the best in the state but we didn’t get a chance to prove it in the tournament,” Kremer said. “But certainly, I think people understood what a special team we had.”
“Obviously, I’m disappointed for our team, our staff and all of Mountaineer nation, particularly in light as to how our team responded so well in recent games and practices after a tough stretch of the season,” Huggins said following the cancelation of the Big 12 Tournament.
With no closure, Michael and Miles had to move on and look forward to the next chapters of their lives. Michael went on to graduate from Archbishop Moeller High School, and you can probably guess what his senior quote was? That’s right, “Keep Going.” Michael went on to enroll at the University of Dayton to study business.
As soon as Michael arrived at UD, he instantly made an impact within the community, by meeting all sorts of new people of all ages. There was not one person on Earth that disliked Michael in any way, so it was fairly easy for Michael to make friends.
As the world was waking up on Sept. 20, 2020, people were stunned by the news that Michael Currin had been involved in an accident just a few weeks into his college career. Michael had decided to go pick up pizza for his roommates at 3:30 a.m. The 19-year-old was offered a ride by a truck owner, and Currin got into the cargo part of the vehicle. On the way to drop off a passenger, Michael fell out of the truck and suffered blunt force trauma. Michael passed away a day later on Sept. 21, 2020.
Everyone was in shock in both the Cincinnati and Dayton communities. A movement was started to remember Michael for the man he was: #KeepGoing25. That’s how impactful of a person Michael was to everyone. He was the nicest kid you’d ever meet, he wouldn’t hurt a fly. Michael was the poster boy of first-class—which was something Kremer had always taught his kids within his basketball program. Michael always treated his peers with respect, no matter what difference they had from him. At the end of his senior year at Moeller, Michael was awarded the Man of Moeller Award, which is given to the student that represents the school and community in the best way possible, voted on by his graduating class. It wouldn’t have surprised me if Michael had received a unanimous vote for that award because it was clear who was deserving.
“He (Currin) was actually kind of quiet, not super quiet, not withdrawn in any way but Michael didn’t do it by forcing personality and being a jokester and all of that,” Kremer explained. “It was how he treated other people and more than that, how he made other people feel. I’ve talked to all of our (Moeller) guys who played with him and what they to me is, ‘Michael made me a better person.'”
McBride released his thoughts on the loss of his former teammate in a tweet.
“Mike you will be missed it was a honor to have you as a teammate, friend and brother,” McBride wrote on Sept. 21, 2020. “Wish everyone could have been around such a selfless and generous person like you. You were truly one of a kind. Love you buddy, Rest in power ❤️#25forever.”
Miles was ready to go out onto the court this season for Michael and make him proud. McBride did just that.
McBride moved into a full-time starting role for West Virginia and instantly became a guy to go to if you need a bucket or to make a play. The sophomore from Cincinnati, Ohio, has helped the Mountaineers to an 18-8 record, in arguably the toughest conference in the country. WVU was able to stay in the AP Top 25 for the entire season, with their highest being No. 6 and their lowest at No. 17.
“We are surprised when he doesn’t (play well) because he is versatile,” Huggins said. “He is a guy who can shoot it off the bounce. He can shoot it off the catch. He can play with his back to the basket. He is a versatile scorer.”
McBride—in his sophomore season at WVU—has leaped from his freshman year, averaging 15.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.8 steals. The guard is shooting 42% from the field, and 41% from three this season. McBride has already been awarded Big 12 Player of the Week two-times in his sophomore campaign and will continue to earn league accolades in the upcoming weeks.
I interviewed Michael last year about Miles and how he was to have as a teammate on the court. This is what Michael had to say.
“He’s just a competitor,” Currin said. “He is someone you want on your team because with him, by your side, you are probably going to win.”
“On top of that he is just a great all-around leader,” Currin added.
Miles is approaching the Big 12 Tournament this week, starting on Thursday and eventually the NCAA Tournament on March 19. This will be the first season-ending tournament that Miles has been in, since playing alongside Michael and winning a state championship in 2019. Luckily, for McBride, he will have his guardian angel in Michael Currin looking down on him, watching him do his thing against some of the best competition in the country.
We miss and love you, Mike! #KeepGoing25
(Cover Photo: WCPO)