At this time last season, Garvey Melmed didn’t know if he was going to have a role on the University of Maine men’s basketball team. The 2014 graduate of Old Town high school, not only earned a spot, he started 11 games as a freshman.
“He (Melmed) has been awesome. He is the toughest kid we have. He has never missed a minute of practice for an injury or anything like that. He is an elite student and an elite competitor, he is the type of kid we want to win with,”Maine coach Bob Walsh said. “He sets an example for our guys. He doesn’t have some of the natural gifts that they all do. He is about work ethic and that is a great example for the young guys on the team.”
Melmed played in 29 of the 30 games last season. Playing division 1 college basketball at his hometown school, is an opportunity not many get a chance to experience. Melmed and the Black Bears open up division 1 play with a road game against the University of Connecticut. Maine also plays at Boston College and Marquette this season. They will start the season with exhibition games against the University of Southern Maine and Husson University.
“It is an unreal experience. Last year, coming in I didn’t know if I could be part of the team or not. Now that I am here, I get to experience all these things, travel with the guys to see some pretty amazing places,”Melmed said. “We are going to UConn, that is awesome. I wouldn’t give it up for anything.”
Garet Beal is expected to be a key contributor for Walsh and the Black Bears again this year. Beal was limited last season due to injury. Beal, a 2013 graduate of Jonesport-Beals is hoping to help the program turn around. Beal averaged 6.5 points per game in 24.9 minutes in 15 games last season.
“I just want to win as a team, that is my biggest goal. I have a lot of pride in being from Maine and playing st the University of Maine, “Beal said. “I want this team to turn it around, and I hope that I am around when it does.”
Beal, enters his junior year as a vocal leader for coach Walsh and the Black Bears.
“He (Beal) has been one of our best players in practice. He is making shots at a high level,”Walsh said. “He has developed into a leader. He is the loudest voice you hear on the court all the time.”