JONESPORT, Maine — Garet Beal has won just about every individual postseason award available to a Maine high school basketball player, and this week the state’s reigning Mr. Basketball added a new title — All-American.
Beal, the 6-foot-5-inch senior guard-forward from Jonesport-Beals High School, is one of 40 players nationwide named to the 57th Parade All-American Boys Basketball Team.
Parade magazine is distributed by more than 600 Sunday newspapers across America with an estimated circulation of 33 million.
The 2013 Parade All-American basketball teams were published this week on the magazine’s website at www.parade.com.
“As a kid you’re always dreaming of the highest possible things you can reach,” said Beal, who will attend the University of Maine this fall on a basketball scholarship. “Being able to achieve something like this is a great honor and reflects the hard work I’ve done.”
Beal, a two-time Gatorade Maine player of the year and twice a Bangor Daily News first-team All-Maine choice, becomes the first basketball player from the Pine Tree State to earn Parade All-American status since Ashley Cimino of Catherine McAuley of Portland was recognized in 2007.
Beal averaged 34.0 points, 10.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game while playing an average of just 24 minutes per game this winter in leading coach Gordon Faulkingham’s Jonesport-Beals club to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the Eastern Maine Class D tournament. He shot 60 percent from the field, 48 percent from 3-point range and 79 percent from the free-throw line.
The four-year starter also set school records last winter with 55 points in a single game and with his career total of 1,686 points — in both cases surpassing marks set by his late father Lindell Beal.
While the 40 players named to the Parade All-American boys basketball squad include the likes of Duke University-bound Jabari Parker of Chicago, Ill., the 2013 Gatorade national player of the year, and Kansas University-bound Semi Ojeleye of Ottawa, Kan., Parade’s national player of the year, there also is a smattering of honorees bound for mid-major Division I college programs, including Beal, A.J. Jacobson of Fargo, N.D. (North Dakota State), Anders Broman of Duluth, Minn. (South Dakota State), and Jon Sevene of Queens, N.Y. (Fordham).
“Our criteria is different than some of the other All-American teams,” said Brian McLaughlin, coordinator of Parade’s All-American teams and author of the article announcing this year’s squad. “While most of the teams out there focus only on the recruiting status of a player, sometimes even picking a player who was injured much of his high school senior year, we want a mix of players who are heading to play Division I-level ball (in most instances) and also had an outstanding senior prep season.
“I guess that’s the big thing — Garet is a two-time state player of the year. I realize Maine doesn’t pump out the same number of blue chippers as other states, but what he did within his state was impressive.”
As a junior at Jonesport-Beals, Beal led the Royals to their first state title since 1993, averaging 22.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.8 steals, 3.6 assists and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 61.5 percent from the field, 46.7 percent from 3-point range and 81.2 percent from free-throw line.
Jonesport-Beals compiled a 71-9 record during Beal’s four varsity seasons at Jonesport-Beals, including 18-1 last winter.
“Our team is definitely different when it comes to criteria,” said McLaughlin, “but we’re also the only All-American teams that named (Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner) Johnny Manziel and (University of Michigan basketball star) Trey Burke to our list in the same calendar year when they were left off all other national lists. We take pride in recognizing kids who just frankly got it done.”