Sports stars had their start at MCCC

MCCC alum James McElroy, who played professional basketball with the likes of Pistol Pete Maravich, learned a lot from his experiences at MCCC.

McElroy was a standout high school basketball player who decided he needed to add an extra step before attending a larger University.

“It’s a slow pace, it’s a place where you can get your head together and still make the progress in the right direction,” McElroy said.

McElroy also said he learned from being in unfamiliar territory.  

His high school (Detroit Murray-Wright) was predominantly African-American, while MCCC had fewer than 30 black students.

McElroy’s fondest memory in his MCCC basketball career was beating third-ranked Lake Michigan Junior College in his first game at MCCC.

McElroy scored 51 points in the blowout of LMJC.

After McElroy’s retirement from the NBA, he owned a restaurant-chain for 17 years and said his history in athletics helped him prosper.   

He also pointed out that he preferred to hire athletes because they understand that some days you get knocked down, and just have to get up and keep going.

“You got to be able to look into the future and say, okay, I lost that battle, but we got another one coming tomorrow,” McElroy said.

MCCC alum Frank McAuliffe said his greatest achievement as a golf pro was  finishing second place in the 1988 Michigan Open.

McAuliffe was two shots away from placing first, but he showed little disappointment 22 years later.

“It was exciting, that’s kind of what you play for, knowing you have a chance to win,” McAuliffe said.

His trek to MCCC was much shorter than McElroy’s. The main reason he enrolled at MCCC was because he grew up in Monroe.

His favorite moment on the MCCC golf team was going to the Nationals in a 3-day tournament in Galveston, Texas.

McAuliffe doesn’t remember Galveston, other than just being at the golf course.

“We were there to be at the tournament and we didn’t do much else,” McAuliffe said.

McAuliffe studied Business Administration at MCCC, which is now paying dividends because he has owned a golf shop for 30 years in Ann Arbor.

McAuliffe thinks it would be smart for MCCC to have more sports programs like golf.

“I wouldn’t have went there if it didn’t have a golf program.” McAuliffe said.