Logan O’Neal, 17, of Waterville, top, takes a shot from the foul line as friends James Ladd, 16, left, and Hunter Lee wait for the rebound Thursday at the North Street courts in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Editor’s note: This is the ninth story in our new series “Everyday Athletes,” in which we talk with people who are out and about enjoying some outdoor recreation. Sports is all around us and we’re on the lookout. If you know someone who would make a great “Everyday Athlete” please contact sports editor Bill Stewart at [email protected]

WATERVILLE — The coronavirus has provided people with a lot of time on their hands. Waterville’s Logan O’Neal has had a good idea on how to spend it.

The 17-year-old student at Waterville Senior High School has been putting in hours on the basketball courts around town, both playing pick-up games or just shooting around on his own or with friends.

O’Neal, who hopes to enlist in the Marines after school, was on the court at North Street on Thursday afternoon with a couple of friends when he stopped to answer a few questions.

Q: How did you get into playing basketball?

A: “Well, as a kid, I didn’t really like to play for the school, so I would meet up with friends after school and come to places like here on North Street or at Grove Street or at the Hall School and play basketball with 12, 15 people, it doesn’t matter. And then, from there on, we just kind of shoot around every now and again. I like to shoot (around) every day, we like to play ball every day. I try to get out and be active.”

Q: Mostly shoot around, or do you get pick-up games going?

A: “We’re trying to get games going, but with this whole quarantine thing, not everyone’s getting out.”

Q: How often do you get on the court?

A: “I play in the morning for about an hour and a half, and then pick-up games probably once, twice, three times a week.”


Waterville native Logan O’Neal, 17, bottom, drives to the basket as friends James Ladd, 16, center, and Hunter Lee, 19, play a game of pickup basketball at the North Street courts in Waterville on Thursday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel


Q: What do you like most about basketball? Is it just a playing interest, or do you follow it?

A: “Sort of just getting out with my friends and having competition with them. I don’t really like to watch it.”

Q: Do you consider yourself to have a skill set? Ball handling or shooting?

A: “I wouldn’t describe myself as the best player, but as an overall player I’m good at mostly everything. I can shoot well, I can handle the ball well. I’m probably best inside the paint.”

Hunter Lee drives to the basket Thursday at the North Street courts in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Q: Do you see yourself just doing this recreationally, or do you have any desire to play competitively?

A: “I have thought of playing for the school, I was thinking about playing next year for my senior year. I never have before, so we’ll see how that goes. Maybe. … I could get it on my school record and it would help me for my future in the military and stuff like that. Getting physically and mentally ready, playing on teams.”

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