Editor’s note: Please pick up the next issue of The Castleton Spartan for the story on Vanessa Powers, who also reached her 1000th point at Castleton.
Mark Comstock may have originally thought he would not be coming to Castleton State College for basketball, but on Tuesday, Feb. 14 he was sure glad he did.
Only 11 minutes into the contest against Lyndon State College, Comstock eclipsed the 1000th point mark, making him the 20th player in CSC history to do so and the first since the 2007-08 season.
But if it were not for a last minute change of heart, Comstock would not have had an opportunity to achieve such an accomplishment.
“I was committed to St. Anselm to play football,” Comstock said.
Basketball was still in the back of his mind, though, and Paul Culpo, who had met Comstock when he was visiting Hartwick College with his mother, had just landed the head coaching position at Castleton.
“Once I got the Castleton head coaching job,” Culpo said, “he was the first player I went after.”
And Comstock started to lean toward playing basketball soon after.
“I reconsidered, and the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to give up basketball,” he said.
So he made the decision to pull his commitment to St. Anselm for football and commit to Castleton for basketball.
“I came to Castleton, started as a freshman, and I liked it,” Comstock said. “I have no regrets.”
Comstock has improved his playing ability greatly since his freshman year, and he is the top scorer and rebounder on this year’s Castleton squad that won North Atlantic Conference championship.
“He is a very versatile player,” Culpo said. “He posts up well against smaller guards, and he has speed enough to blow by guys bigger than him.”
This isn’t the first time that Comstock has eclipsed the 1,000th-point mark, though. He was just the third player in Rutland high school history to reach the milestone.
“In high school at Rutland it was much more emotional for me. I was really anxious about it,” Comstock said. “In college I wasn’t as anxious, it was more of a gratifying achievement.”
Comstock actually had a chance to reach the milestone in the previous game against Green Mountain College in which the Spartans won in dominating fashion, 118-63.
But he was happy that he didn’t achieve it then because his brother Billy Jr. wasn’t able to make it to the Green Mountain game.
“I wanted to wait until Tuesday so that my brother could be there. I wanted my whole family there to see me achieve it,” he said.
Needing only four points to reach 1,000 coming into the game on Tuesday, Comstock scored on a mid-range jumper from the corner to get within two points.
A few possessions later he drove hard to the hoop, scoring easily to reach 1,000 points for his career.
The crowd, well aware of his achievement, immediately rose to their feet, giving him a well-deserved standing ovation.
Comstock is only a junior this year, so he has another year to rack up more points and surpass other players who have also achieved the 1,000th-point mark at Castleton.
But for now he is content on just soaking it all in and basking in his great accomplishment.
“I’ve been playing basketball my whole life,” Comstock said, “and for all the time I put into it, it feels good to have all my hard work payoff.”