In the world of Winslow youth league basketball, Trevor Lovely is a rock star.
On Saturday mornings during the basketball season, Lovely, a Winslow High School senior, instructs the grade school players on how to shoot.
“I’m one of the 3-point instructors,” Lovely said. “I guess they really enjoy it.”
“The little kids really look up to him,” Winslow boys basketball coach Jared Browne said. “There’s almost a fight with the rec league kids to see who’s going to wear his away jersey when we have home games.”
Lovely said the jersey usually goes to his mother, otherwise it’s first come, first serve, and it’s easy to see how Lovely made fans young and old in Winslow. A senior guard for the Black Raiders, Lovely worked hard to become one of the top players in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference.
This season, Lovely became a strong defender, and he improved his ability to take defenders off the dribble and get to the basket. In doing so, Lovely scored his 1,000th career point, and led the Black Raiders to the Eastern Maine Class B quarterfinals.
For his efforts, Trevor Lovely is the Morning Sentinel Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Also considered was Nick Mayo, of Messalonskee.
A guard, Lovely averaged 22 points, three assists, three steals and 3.5 rebounds per game this season. He shot 80 percent from the free throw line, and made 59 3-pointers.
Lovely was always a good spot up shooter. Give him even the smallest opening, and Lovely would make a 3-pointer. To become one of the best all-around players in the league, Lovely had to add a few dimensions to his game.
“He couldn’t (score 1,000 points) just by being a spot up shooter,” Browne said. “He worked to become an all-around scorer.”
Over the summer, Lovely worked on his ball-handling skills. When he played in the fall league, Lovely noticed a difference.
“It made it easier for me to hold my own,” Lovely said.
To improve his defensive skills, Lovely did drills to improve his reaction time. The defensive work of the Black Raiders, particularly Lovely and the guards, made transition baskets a big part of Winslow’s offense.
“He does a nice job staying in his defensive stance,” Browne said. “He anticipates very well. He reads plays and gets into passing lanes.”
Browne became head coach of the Black Raiders when Lovely was a sophomore, and the young player didn’t wait long to make an impression on his new coach. Playing at home, the Black Raiders trailed Camden Hills by 10 points going into the fourth quarter. Lovely helped spark the comeback win with three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
“That was a big win for us,” Browne said.
Lovely opened this season with 25 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the first game, a 65-42 win over Maine Central Institute. Lovely entered Winslow’s senior night game against Leavitt on Jan. 31, the next-to-last game of the regular season, needing 33 points for 1,000. He got that in the third quarter, on a 3-pointer from the left wing, in front of the Winslow bench.
“(Scoring 1,000 points) really came into mind at the beginning of the year,” Lovely said. “It was senior night, and I wanted to make sure I did it on that night.”
“He hit some really tough shots,” Browne said.
Mt. Ida and St. Joseph’s College are among the college choices Lovely is mulling over. Earlier this month, Lovely played for the East A/B all-stars in the McDonald’s All-Star game at Husson University in Bangor.
“It was a great experience, and I’m glad I got to be a part of it,” Lovely said.