Two MPS seniors join the 1,000-point club

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Thompson - posted Tue., Feb. 21, 2012
'If you're willing to put in the time and effort, you can do what you set your mind to,' said Melanie Mills. Photo by D. Coffey.
'If you're willing to put in the time and effort, you can do what you set your mind to,' said Melanie Mills. Photo by D. Coffey.

Marianapolis Preparatory School seniors Kristian Medina and Melanie Mills are the most recent inductees to the school's 1,000-point club. Medina is the sixth boy and Mills is the sixth girl in the school's history to reach the milestone.

Medina transferred in his sophomore year from a school in Puerto Rico and reached the mark after playing only three years. In three seasons, playing 30 games a season, he has amassed 14.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game.

MPS boys’ basketball coach Andrew Vitale said what separated Medina from other players was his ability to score. “You don't score 1,000 points by luck,” Vitale said. “He knows how to put the ball in the basket.” Vitale said that Medina has had the good fortune to have played with good players, many of them Division 1 players. “They've put him in good spots,” Vitale said.

At 5 feet, 11 inches, center Melanie Mills has used plenty of post moves to get to her mark. She has avoided relying on her three- pointer, a shot she isn't fond of, and relies instead on her height and instincts to compile an average of 14.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 2.4 steals per game.

Girls’ basketball coach Charlie Baron said that Mills has been on teams that have won 80 percent of their games. “She is going to be the all-time leading scorer when she graduates this June,” he said.

“Both [Medina and Mills] have had a good support system around them, and hopefully it had something to do with the coaching,” Baron said. “But probably, for the most part, it's been the other student athletes who have been with Mel and Kristian for the last three and four years. Those early years they learned from the upper classmen what their roles would be. Now they are passing that knowledge along to the ones coming along behind them.”

Both coaches are quick to complement the players on their teams as being motivated to better their games, as well as their academics. “We have kids who are always trying to get better, always trying to get to the next level,” Vitale said. “The ones that are special don’t need motivation to get better. They are always trying to do it on their own.”

Medina is driven by the words one coach told him years ago. “While you are sleeping, someone is working to get your scholarship. So I have to work harder,” he said.

Mills grew up playing basketball with her father and brother. She's played AAU basketball and has heard advice all around. “A lot of coaches say there’s no such thing as a bad shot,” she said. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. Whenever you have an opportunity you have to take it, because if it's there you should go after it.”

Both Medina and Mills plan to play basketball in college.

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