Mario Elie, former AIC and NBA basketball star, concentrates on raising triplets


Mario Elie made his mark at American International College as a Division II All-America basketball player, and in the NBA as a member of two championship teams in Houston and one in San Antonio. 

He has worked as an NBA assistant coach while establishing himself as a head-coaching candidate. 

All of that has been put on hold for now – at Elie’s request. 

“Mario wants to take a year off. He has been involved in the NBA as a player and assistant since 1990, and now he wants time at home,” said Jim Powell, an Agawam resident who coached Elie in his AIC years, 1981-85. 

As a senior, Elie played on a team whose 29-4 record still stands as the winningest in AIC’s basketball history. His 2,124 career points rank second to James Hector’s 2,306. 

Elie’s decision to be a stay-at-home dad for a year has to do with the fact that he and wife Gina Gaston are raising 9-year-old triplets – two boys and a girl. Their mother also happens to be an award-winning news anchor for KRTK-TV in Houston. 

During the summer, Elie came back to Springfield for the first time since his AIC graduation. Powell, who works as an advance scout for the Indiana Pacers, toured the campus with him and showed him his plaque in the AIC Hall of Fame. Elie couldn’t make his enshrinement because he was playing for Houston at the time.