ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine men’s basketball program has added strength to its frontcourt with the verbal commitment of Lee Academy prep center Miks Antoms to join the Black Bears next season.
The 6-foot-8, 230-pound native of Riga, Latvia, announced his decision to accept a full athletic scholarship from UMaine via Twitter on Wednesday. His decision to join the UMaine program was reported first by newenglendrecruitingreport.com.
UMaine coach Bob Walsh is not yet able to comment on the pending addition of Antoms to his program until the final paperwork is approved.
Antoms played for a year at Archbishop Carroll High School in Philadelphia before enrolling at Lee Academy last year.
The 19-year-old Antoms started for coach Igor Vrzina’s club, providing Lee with a physical presence near the basket while averaging 18.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
Season highlights for Antoms last winter included a game-high 28 points in Lee’s 104-91 victory over Gould Academy and 16 points and 10 rebounds during a 64-59 win over St. Andrews prep.
“Miks is a solid big man with a great inside game,” said Vrzina. “He can finish with both hands and is a great passer as a big guy.
“He has a high motor and I think he is a solid recruit for UMaine.”
Antoms also was a member of Latvia’s U16 national team that competed in the 2013 FIBA European championships, where he averaged 5.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in six contests.
Antoms, who also received a scholarship offer from Tennessee Tech, is expected to be one of four former Lee Academy players on UMaine’s 2017-2018 men’s basketball squad.
He will join Black Bears tri-captain Aaron Calixte, who will be a senior next season, and junior forward Ilija Stojiljkovic and junior guard Dusan Majstorovic.
Antoms is expected to add bulk to what was a thin UMaine frontcourt that last winter featured America East All-Rookie Team member Andrew Fleming, a 6-7 freshman from Oxford Hills High School in South Paris, and Vincent Eze, a 6-8 redshirt freshman from Nigeria via Putnam Science Academy (Connecticut).
UMaine ranked eighth in the nine-school America East in several interior-related categories, among them rebounds allowed per game (37.4), rebounding margin per game (minus-2.3) and field-goal percentage defense (.461).
The Black Bears finished the 2016-2017 season with a 7-25 overall record, 3-13 in conference play.
Antoms is one of four Lee Academy products ranked among newenglandrecruitingreport.com’s top 10 Maine players in the Class of 2017.
That list, which this year consists entirely of prep-school players, is topped by Lee’s Shaquille Walters, a 6-5 guard from England who signed last November with Santa Clara.
Antoms was ranked sixth while two other Lee teammates, 6-5 Latvian guard Arnold Krauklis and 6-7 Serbian forward Saso Vuksanovic, are ranked fourth and 10th, respectively.