Year-Round Basketball Player with College Plans
By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Shepherd Hill’s Lucas Miglionico is a year-round basketball player because he felt that his skills in other sports were just not up to those on the basketball court. At the age of four, after trying other sports that he also loved like football and soccer, his dad introduced him to basketball. However, the now senior found that his talent was better suited to playing basketball instead of other sports.
Miglionico played youth basketball up until the eighth grade before entering high school. In addition to the youth leagues, he also found a position on club basketball teams; he now plays for Swarm Select, out of Central Massachusetts.
Upon entering high school, the world found themselves involved with Covid-19 and making the varsity squad was not going to be an easy thing.
“I was on the junior varsity team my freshman year,” he said. “We only got to play 8 games that year because of Covid and had to wear masks at all times. It was very weird and way more difficult to play and breathe than normal.”
Following his freshman campaign, Miglionico found himself training harder and trying to get himself used to playing high school basketball. Not only did he make the varsity team the next season, but the program also began to turnaround. Shepherd Hill only lost a handful of games during the regular season and made it as far as the Sweet 16 in the Division 2 State Tournament, being sent home by the number two seed Mansfield 47-44.
That year he considered himself a shooter off the bench for the Rams where he averaged 7 points per contest.
During his junior season he stepped up and became the team’s second option at scoring, averaging 17 points per game as a starter with a majority of his shots coming from behind the three-point arc.
“I found at an early age that it (shooting threes) was one of my strengths on the court,” Miglionico said. “So, I began working on it from a young age.”
Behind his outside shooting Miglionico helped the Rams to a rather impressive regular season, where the team only lost a single game, but things were much different once they began play in the State Tournament. Having earned themselves a four seed, Shepherd Hill was upset 55-54 by 29th-seed Westwood in the first round.
“That loss was painful and shocking,” he said. “It definitely gave me the motivation to get better for this year. Last year’s team was one of the closest teams I have ever been on.”
The surprising loss in the State Tournament lit a fire within Miglionico and he trained five days a week during the off-season by doing skills and weight training to get ready for this his senior campaign.
“As a third-year varsity athlete, Lucas worked extremely hard on his game coming into this year and it has paid off,” Rams Coach Mike Rapoza said. “His teammates are doing a tremendous job putting him in position to score and lead the team.”
According to the Shepherd Hill Coach, Miglionico is an all-around player who does all the little things. He has also improved greatly at team concept basketball, while his defense has seen the biggest improvement on the court. As an offensive player, he has always had the skills for the game.
Through the early stages of the season the senior has upped his scoring and is averaging 25 points per contest and is leading Central Mass in points per game.
“I think the biggest reason my scoring has gone up is that we lost our leading scorer from last year, so I had to pick up the slack,” he said. “This year we are also playing a different style allowing us more freedom in transition. We are doing more off the dribble and the result has us going to the line more often.”
As the season goes on, Miglionico would love nothing more than to lead the rams back into the State Final and avenge that first round upset of a year ago. He also wants to be the very best version of himself that he can be while leading his team into the winners circle in as many games as possible.
“I know that this is a less talented team than the one that we had last year, but everyone has bought into their roles,” Miglionico said. “The chemistry has been working and we are all working hard each and every game.”
Whenever the season comes to an end, Miglionico is hoping much later than sooner, the senior will take a two week break before he suits back up for his club team. Once that season ends, he is hoping that he’ll be playing college basketball.
“I have a couple of options; so, I’m sure that I’ll be playing basketball somewhere in college next year in the area,” Miglionico said.
While college basketball is most likely in his future, right now everything revolves around his high school season and putting forth the best effort that he and his teammates can to get back to the State Tournament.