Last winter I spent several Saturday mornings watching my eleven and eight-year-old nieces play elementary school basketball. I think that it is vital that every school have a strong youth athletic program.
My nieces are both very tall for their age and have bits of raw talent. I watched as the coach pulled one of them aside and worked with her for a minute or two on shooting. I thought to myself there is not one person in this gym right now who knows how incredibly blessed they are.
Most of the time, the coaches of these youth programs are fathers or mothers of children on the team. Some of them may have played high school basketball, occasionally someone may have played in college. Finding those coaches are rare. I could go on about this, but I won’t.
The person coaching my nieces that morning and many others that day at Bangor Christian was Kevin Reed. I was fortunate enough to be at Maine when Kevin played there. He is one of UMaine’s all-time greats. He ranks fifth on Maine’s all-time scoring list and eighth on Maine’s all-time rebounding list. His 311 three-point field goals set a school record and currently rank second all-time. Following graduation, he went on to have a successful playing career in Europe.
Recently, Kevin has served as the athletic director and head boys basketball coach at Bangor Christian School and has done a great job. When I heard the news last week that he is apparently returning to UMaine as one of Richard Barron’s new assistant coaches, my reaction was mixed.
I was sad for Bangor Christian. The success that the Patriots have had under his guidance has been impressive. My nieces and all the other youth that he has taught the past few years have no idea how lucky they truly were. How often do elementary age children get taught by a professional player?
I am thrilled for the UMaine men’s basketball program. There is no former Maine player that I know of that I would rather have representing the program. Kevin was a standout player and has a tremendous amount of integrity. The current Black Bears will have to look no further than him to see what it takes to succeed at Maine. I believe that this is a fantastic selection by new head coach Richard Barron.