Stephen Fama III helped the St. Mary’s High School basketball team win a state championship, return to the finals the very next year, and reach the sectional final this year.
Saturday at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Fama played the final game of his outstanding high school basketball career. It didn’t end the way Fama had hoped, as Watertown’s defense contained the St. Mary’s offense in a low-scoring 44-36 decision.
“Watertown is a great team and they played really good defense,” said Fama. “I think if we played to the level we had in the past, though, we could have beaten that team.”
Fama was a member of the varsity when his older brother, Joseph, made The Perfect Pass to Matt Cross for the winning basket in the state semifinal at the TD Garden. St. Mary’s went on to defeat Maynard in the state final at Springfield College.
Stephen has carried on the family’s legacy (his father, Leo Fama, was a college star at Suffolk) and put his own stamp on the St. Mary’s program.
Under coach David Brown, Fama developed into a 6-foot-2-inch, All-Star player who could handle the ball like a guard, rebound like a forward, and most importantly, score.
While he’s disappointed that he didn’t get a second trip to the Garden (last year a snowstorm moved the state semifinal to Woburn High), he’s proud of the way the underclassmen raised the level of their game this season.
“I’m proud of the young kids on this team because each and every single person stepped up,” said Fama. “So it’s tough to go out that way but we faced adversity all season. I’m really proud of everyone the whole way. They’re going to be back here next season.”
When he looks back at the 2017-18 season, he’ll remember the many successes.
“It was a great season overall,” said Fama. “We played one of the toughest schedules in the state. We had some good wins and some tough losses. Everyone stepped up. Jalen [Echevarria] played amazing all season. He should be MVP next season, too.”
He will miss the daily instruction from head coach Dave Brown, a man he’s come to admire greatly.
“Coach Brown is one of the greatest coaches I’ve ever played for,” said Fama. “He’s like a father figure to me. He taught me so much. In freshman year, we didn’t get along as much as we did later on, but every since my brother broke his leg [in his junior season), we’ve had a bond that grew. Coach Brown is someone I looked up to and I’ll come back and support them and help them win a state championship next year. He’s a great coach.”