Florin Custis, Michelle
High School Player
One thing Michelle Florin will never forget about her career at Masuk High School in Monroe: the Panthers' unbeaten Class L championship team in 1995. There are a lot of other programs which won't likely forget, either, with that Masuk team in the midst of one of the most dominant runs in the history of Connecticut high school girls' basketball.
Michelle, a 5-foot-7 shooting guard and a Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-American as a senior, contributed to Masuk's 50-game winning streak from 1994-96 and to an extraordinary 93-game regular-season winning streak from 1993-97 under former coach Dave Strong. In 1995, the Panthers finished 26-0 with a 54-44 victory over Lauralton Hall of Milford in the state championship game played at Central Connecticut State University. Masuk was ranked first in the state beginning with week one of the season and finished ranked No. 1 in Connecticut and New England.
“I have always loved playing basketball, whether it was shooting in the driveway, playing knock out or playing in a 'big game,'” Michelle said. “Over the years, basketball allowed me to make friendships with many different teammates and travel to places I may not have gone to otherwise. It also allowed me to realize that I can overcome any adversity in my life. It is a sport that I continue to enjoy and play with my own children.”
Michelle finished her career with 1,814 points, second in program history, 214 assists and an average of 18.7 points per game, 23.4 points per game as a senior. She set Masuk records for points in a game (42), a half (28) and a quarter (19). She was a two-time first team Class L all-state selection, a three-time Western Connecticut Conference all-star and was named the Connecticut Post Super 15 Player of the Year in 1995. Michelle was a four-year starter for the Panthers in basketball and soccer and a member of the National Honor Society. She received a full scholarship to play basketball for the University of Richmond, where she twice hit seven 3-pointers in a game and owned the third-best free-throw percentage for a single season at .905. At Richmond, she majored in sociology with a concentration in elementary eduction.
Michelle Florin Custis is now a fourth-grade teacher for Henrico County Public Schools and a resident of Glen Allen, Va. She enjoys reading and watching and playing sports with her children, serving as a YMCA youth coach for the past several seasons. She calls her dad the biggest influence on her career because “he practiced with me or rebounded for me every day (even in the snow!)”
“I started playing in the Monroe Recreation League in the fifth grade on my brother's team and began practicing in the driveway as much as possible at that time,” Michelle said. “I also enjoyed going to watch the Masuk girls' team play and it inspired me to be the best I could be.”