Garet Beal’s skills, work ethic, small-town persona spark thoughts of a past UMaine standout

When I got the official press release from the University of Maine stating that Garet Beal’s National Letter of Intent was signed, sealed and delivered, I kind of smiled and chuckled to myself.
Because I thought, hey, when a kid from Jonesport-Beals says he’s coming to Orono to play his college basketball, his word is good  enough. That’s just how it is in downeast Maine. No stinkin’ NLI needed.
At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Garet Beal is one rugged basketball dude. He can handle the ball, shoot the ball, rebound the ball, dish the ball and as UMaine coach Ted Woodward said in the press release “he has a great work ethic.”
And so I ask this question — can Garet Beal be the Cindy Blodgett of the UMaine men’s basketball program?
I’m not talking about scoring points on the basketball floor. I’m talking scoring points with the basketball public, especially here in Eastern Maine.
There are similarities. Both hard working kids from small town Maine who could have played college basketball elsewhere but wanted to play close to home because having family around is a big thing.
Also, Blodgett had and now Beal has the chance to play his senior year of high school hoops with those of us in the sports media saying “UMaine bound….” on every highlight play. That means the Black Bear program gets a full year of free publicity. By the time Garet Beal walks into the Pit (or Alfond Arena or the Cross Insurance Center or wherever they play next year)  he’ll feel like Norm walking in Cheers — everyone is going to know is name.
There’s just something special about a kid from tiny Jonesport-Beals coming to the state’s only Division I school. Think about this — the population of the two towns is about the same as the number of freshmen entering the Orono school next fall with Garet Beal, around 2,000.
I think it’s great.  Not that I’m trying to start the PR machine already….but, I hear Jonesport-Beals is playing in a preseason round robin in Hampden on Friday!
Just thought you would like to know.

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