Sayonara, Nick Mayo.

Basketball took the Messalonskee High School graduate from Oakland, Maine, to Kentucky, and over the last few weeks to Sacramento and Las Vegas. Now, Mayo’s basketball talent will take him across the globe, to Japan.

Mayo, who recently completed a standout collegiate basketball career at Eastern Kentucky University, signed a contract with Chiba Jets Funabashi, a team in the Japan Basketball League.

Playing for the Miami Heat’s Summer League team recently, Mayo averaged 9.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game in four games in the Las Vegas league Mayo scored 20 points in a game against China’s national team.

In three games in the Sacramento league, Mayo averaged 4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.

Messalonskee senior forward Nick Mayo, seen here as a senior forward for Messalonskee High School in 2015, shoots against Oxford Hills during a Class A tournament game at the Augusta Civic Center. Mayo has now signed to join a pro basketball league in Japan. Kennebec Journal file photo by Joe Phelan

The former Messalonskee High School basketball standout spent four years at Eastern Kentucky University and was not drafted last month by the NBA, but the Heat quickly contacted him about joining their summer league team.

The Chiba Jets are based in Funabashi, a city of approximately 623,000 residents on the east coast of Honshu, Japan’s largest island. The Jets are one of 18 teams to play in the B. League, Japan basketball’s highest league. Chiba was league runner-up last season.

The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Mayo left Eastern Kentucky as the program’s all-time leading scorer, with 2,316 career points. Mayo averaged 23.7 points per game for the Colonels last season, ranking him in the top 10 in NCAA Division I scoring. Mayo was named first team all-Ohio Valley Conference in each of his four seasons at Eastern Kentucky.

“He’s a natural scorer, scored a lot of points in college,” Miami Heat summer league coach Eric Glass said to the Miami Herald. “His reliability on defense has been something impressive. He’s done a solid job there. I’ve been impressed.”

In April, Mayo took part in the Portsmouth Invitational, a showcase tournament in Portsmouth, Virginia. Scouts from all 30 NBA teams as well as international clubs, scouted the tournament, where Mayo averaged 14.3 points per game in three games. Mayo shot 53.6 percent from the floor, including 6-for-8 from 3-point range.

Between the Portsmouth Invitational and the NBA draft, Mayo worked out for 10 NBA teams. Feedback from NBA scouts was generally positive, Ben Pensack, Mayo’s agent, said prior to the draft. Teams liked Mayo’s shooting touch and range, and wanted him to improve his rebounding skills.

Neither Mayo nor Pensack immediately returned messages Thursday seeking comment.

 

 

 

 


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