February 10, 2013

Steve Solloway: Boy to man, from Maine to Notre Dame

(Continued from page 1)

Tom Knight had to await his turn at Notre Dame, and that included stretches of disappointment when he wasn’t playing. But now, with an injury to a starter, he’s gotten his chance to show what he can do, like he did as a Maine high school player.

Matt Cashore photo

Caner-Medley was the Deering High player recruited by Maryland. Caner-Medley had to tune out the doubters. A front-court player like Knight, Caner-Medley became Maryland's go-to player in his last two seasons.

Now it's Knight's turn to be that example, whether he's scoring 17 points or 2, whether he's getting 30 minutes of playing time in a 40-minute game, or none at all.

Maine has too few males at the Division I level. Cheverus grad Indiana Faithfull is a sophomore point guard at Wofford and has started 13 of Wofford's 24 games.

Yes, that's pretty much the list.

Gavin Kane was Knight's coach at Dirigo, and now is the girls' coach at Spruce Mountain High in Livermore Falls. He's been to several Notre Dame games and watched more on television.

"Tom offers some great qualities that not all big men have," said Kane in an email. "He can score both in the low post and from the perimeter. He has a soft jumper and is capable of stepping out to the 3-point line. He helps the Irish offense because he is willing to lay a lot of ball screens on the defense. I get a thrill out of watching Tom defend."

At Dirigo High, Rebecca Fletcher was Knight's chemistry teacher and an assistant to Kane. She's on point, sharing video links of Knight's highlights at Notre Dame. Never mind that the teacher in her urged Knight to forget about a basketball scholarship and concentrate on his classwork.

Karl Knight's cell phone rings more often. He gets more messages. The subject, of course, is his son. One call he won't soon forget. It was from Anthony Solomon, Notre Dame's assistant coach and the bad cop to head coach Mike Brey's good cop.

"Coach Solomon was always asking me why Tom wasn't doing more to improve his game. When I heard his voice two weeks ago, it was, uh-oh, what's wrong?"

Solomon was brief. He wanted Tom Knight's father to remember a comment from a couple years ago: Success would come. It only took time.

Staff Writer Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

ssolloway@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveSolloway

 

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