Garet Beal of Jonesport-Beals High is looking forward to his next level of basketball at the University of Maine.

Being named the state’s Mr. Basketball capped his high school career. The honors have poured in for the 6-foot-5 standout. He was named Gatorade player of the year and can add Maine Sunday Telegram player of the year to the list.

When the season began, Beal was coping with the death of his father, Lindell, who died last July of a heart attack at 43.

“It was a struggle, obviously,” said Beal.

Beal said the support of his family and teammates helped.

Beal used to talk basketball with his father, who had been a standout at Jonesport-Beals. His father had been the school’s all-time leading scorer. They used to kid each other with the son telling the father he was going to break his record.

“Garet and Lindell had a close relationship,” said Pam Beal, Garet’s mother. “Lindell was his biggest fan in anything he did. They would evaluate every game Garet played in and Lindell would point out the things he did well and the things he needed to work on.

“When Garet fell in love with basketball, he and Lindell often went to a gym to put up shots. Garet shot and Lindell rebounded. I think he has dealt with his dad’s passing the best way he knows how. He now uses the memory of his dad to motivate him in achieving his next goal.”

Beal holds the school record of 1,686 career points. He also set a single-season mark of 612. Beal averaged 34.0 points and 10.8 rebounds this season for the Royals (18-1).

“I think my dad would have been pleased,” said Beal. “We didn’t win the big prize but we had a good season.”

Top-seeded Jonesport-Beals was upset by Easton in an Eastern Class D quarterfinal. Beal scored 38 points despite being double-teamed. A year ago the Royals won the state title.

Beal played golf in the fall and for the first time since the eighth grade, is playing baseball.

He is already preparing for the next phase of his basketball career, although he took time off to give his body a rest.

“Coach (Ted) Woodward has sent me a couple of workouts,” said Beal. “I’m not playing in any AAU tournaments this spring. I’m working out and practicing with the team but not playing. I want to improve my overall game. I have to get stronger and quicker.”

Since he started playing in high school, Beal’s goal was to play for Maine.

“It’s our only Division I school in the state,” he said. “Playing for our state university is a big deal for people around here. It’s going to be exciting. I’ve never played with a lot of bigger guys who want it as much as I do.”

His coach, Gordon Faulkingham, is confident Beal will be able to play at Maine.

“I think he’s going to surprise people,” he said. “Garet is a competitor. He worked hard for Mr. Basketball. I’m glad he got it. He’s definitely the best in the state. Garet is very unselfish. As talented as he is as a player, he’s an even better person.”

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH