ORONO, Maine — There is likely to be some German spoken in and around Memorial Gymnasium during the next couple of years.
The University of Maine men’s basketball program landed its second German recruit in a week Friday when Jonathan Mesghna signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Black Bears starting in the fall.
Chances are Mesghna, who hails from Frankfurt, won’t have many issues with language. He has spent the last two seasons playing in the United States.
“He is a tremendous signing for us,” said UMaine head coach Ted Woodward, who last week announced the addition of Germany’s Till Gloger, a 6-foot-8 forward.
“He’s (Mesghna) been our primary junior college guy all the way through,” Woodward added. “We targeted him even a year ago.”
Mesghna is a 6-6, 205-pound forward whose experience will provide the Black Bears with instant maturity. He is attending the North Dakota State College of Science after spending 2010-11 at Wyoming State College.
The 24-year-old ranked second on the NDSCS team with 13.3 points per game and led the Wildcats with 8.1 rebounds per game. He shot 48 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from long range.
Mesghna also shot 83.5 percent from the foul line, leading NDSCS to conference and regional championships. He was a first-team all-conference choice for the Wildcats, who ended the season ranked No. 11 in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll.
“I think he’s got a complete game, a very mature game,” Woodward said. “He understands how to play to his strengths and because of his size and his skill set, he’s got a lot of versatility.”
Woodward is hopeful Mesghna can be the next in a line of productive junior-college players at UMaine, where Raheem Singleton, Terrance Mitchell, Errick Greene and Eric Dobson have all excelled.
“We’ve had a lot of success in the past with junior-college guys,” said Woodward, who pointed out Mesghna’s academic success and campus involvement as testaments to his maturity.
“He’ll be able to provide a whole bunch of things on and off the court,” he said. “He was an RA (resident assistant in a dormitory) and is a great student.”
The UMaine roster continues to feature a large contingent of foreign players. The Bears have two Canadians, two Germans and players from Scotland, Israel, Finland and Serbia.
Mesghna’s participation at UMaine is contingent upon admission to the university and compliance with NCAA initial-eligibility guidelines.