Mency has more than 2,000 reasons

March 07, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI |
  • Former North Hagerstown player Dee Mency plans to parlay a successful college career into an opportunity to play pro basketball.
Courtesy of Merrimack College

HAGERSTOWN — Move over Da’Sean Butler, Christian Laettner and Tyler Hansbrough. Please welcome Dee Mency to the club.

It is a club that Mency could have only imagined in the days when he played for North Hagerstown a few years ago. Now, as he leaves Merrimack College, he joins the group of players who have left their respective schools as the basketball program’s third all-time scorer.

Mency recently completed his senior year as the leading scorer at Merrimack, a Division II school in Massachusetts. In the process, he became the fifth Warrior to eclipse the 2,000-point plateau for his career, but it was a career that ended quickly since Merrimack failed to reach postseason play for the first time in the four years Mency played.

“It hasn’t hit me yet,” Mency said. “As the days go on, it creeps in to me that it’s over. The season was rough because it didn’t go like we expected. We had some injuries and it was a learning experience. It’s overwhelming to me that it is over.”

Or it’s just the end of a chapter.

Mency, like Butler (West Virginia), Laettner (Duke) and Hansbrough (North Carolina), is working, hoping to play on and use the ability to shoot a basketball to his advantage.

Yet, the journey to this point has been pretty satisfying.

After three years at North and a senior season at St. John’s Catholic Prep, Mency headed to Merrimack with modest goals and high expectations. He obtained many of them.

“It is a definite honor to be able to put myself on the list with the other guys who are in the 2,000-point club,” said the 6-foot-2 guard. “But I have to thank my teammates for putting me in the position to score.”

Mency served notice early that he could be one of Merrimack’s better players ever.

He was the East Coast Athletic Conference and Northeast-10 freshman of the year. He went on to earn spots on the Northeast-10’s second team in his sophomore and junior seasons. In all three seasons, Merrimack advanced to the NCAA East Regional.

“I have always had the green light to shoot,” said The Herald-Mail’s 2006 player of the year. “Coach (Bert Hammel) wanted me to be aggressive. If I had the opportunity to score, they told me to score.”

Mency took first-team honors this season, while the Warriors managed a 13-14 record and lost in the first round of the Northeast-10 playoffs. He averaged at least 16.9 points in each of his first three seasons before knocking down 20.5 points per game this season en route to breaking the 2,000-point barrier on Feb. 23. He finished with 2,036 points.

“This year was challenging because I was in the role of team captain,” Mency said. “At times it was difficult, especially when we had the injuries because we took a step back.

“Reaching the 2,000-point mark took a lot of hard work on late nights and early mornings, trying to find ways to score and being consistent. Sometimes, you need to be creative. But still, I needed my teammates to get me the ball to score.”

Now, it’s on to the next chapter.

The scoring success has allowed Mency a chance to follow the likes Butler, Laettner and Hansbrough to try to take his game to the professional level. He has been invited to scouting camps, which will be held in July, to show his talents to NBA and European League scouts.

“I’ll still be working out and playing to stay in shape,” Mency said. “I have a few contacts ... a couple overseas. I’m just going to be working hard and waiting for my chance. No matter what happens, I have to give credit to my parents. Since I was young, they have helped me establish my character and help me become the man and person I am.”

In this case, being No. 3 isn’t all that bad.

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