A high-scoring basketball player in her junior year might consider scoring 1,000 points a realistic goal before her senior year. But Wiregrass Ranch’s Amanda Melosky won’t even be thinking about that milestone next year.
It’s not that Melosky isn’t a talented scorer. In fact, she’s so good that she didn’t need her senior year to reach 1,000 points. She eclipsed that mark on Jan. 23 in a win at home against Anclote.
When that 1,000th point was scored, the game was stopped and her teammates came out to cheer her for reaching the milestone. Melosky even received a game ball to commemorate the accomplishment.
And according to Bulls coach John Gant, she didn’t get those points with uncontested baskets or a lot of long-range shots. She collected them in hard-fought battles to the basket.
“She’s earning them in the trenches, in the paint, working hard and getting put-back, getting rebounds, working to get position,” he said. “She’s earning everything she’s getting. She’s one of the hardest-working individuals I’ve ever coached.”
That’s high praise from Gant, who completed his third year at Wiregrass Ranch, but has been coaching for more than three decades. He said that it’s one thing to find a player with talent, but the really good ones — like Melosky — have a lot of drive, a strong desire to succeed and consistently work hard to improve their skills and abilities.
Melosky is proud of achieving the 1,000-point mark, but is especially happy it occurred during a successful campaign for Wiregrass Ranch.
“I feel like it’s a big milestone. It was a good year to do it because we’re having a very successful season,” she said. “I’d rather the team have a good year than me reach a milestone any day. I like winning more than anything.”
While Melosky was scoring, the Bulls were certainly winning a lot of games. Although they fell in the playoffs to Strawberry Crest on Feb. 6, they finished with a 26-4 record, including a 13-game win streak in the middle of the season. She said that team success is important to her, so while she takes shots when she thinks she has an opportunity to score, she also won’t hesitate to pass to a teammate if they’re open.
Big numbers are a part of Melosky’s basketball game, but they’re also present in her records off the court as well: She’s maintained a 3.9 GPA. She attributes a successful balance of sports (Melosky also plays soccer) and school success to time management and making sure that neither side of her school career is neglected.
“When I’m not practicing, I’m normally doing my homework. I don’t normally have time to do much else, but that’s more important,” she said.
While she’s already eclipsed the 1,000-point mark, Melosky still has a couple of goals in her sights for next season. She has a realistic shot of reaching 1,500 points for her career, and she’s just 310 rebounds away from recording 1,000 there as well.
Gant recalled when college football great Herschel Walker was a junior at Georgia, his coach said the best thing about him was that he’d be coming back for another year. Walker ended up turning pro, and didn’t come back.
But this isn’t college, and Gant can be more confident in Melosky’s return to help the Bulls continue putting up points and winning games.
“Since it’s high school, I’m comfortable saying that the best thing about Amanda Melosky is she’s coming back,” he said.
Published Feb. 12, 2014
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