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Friars grab Massachusetts ‘sleeper’ Ryan Mela

Friars grab Massachusetts ‘sleeper’ Ryan Mela

Natick native Ryan Mela pledged to Kim English in early August


Sometimes a recruiting surprise comes across your radar and everyone is left smiling.

That’s what happened over the last few months as Natick, Mass. and Middlesex Magic star Ryan Mela saw his basketball fortunes rise and Kim English and his staff took notice. The result is a marriage with Mela committing to the Providence coaching staff on Aug. 1.

PC’s coaching staff spent June and July scouting prospects around the country and settled in to watch their first pledge in the Class of 2024, Baltimore point guard Daquan Davis, play in an Under Armour event for Team Thrill. The opponent was the Middlesex Magic, a long-time strong program under Mike Crotty that regularly produces Division One talent.

PC commit Ryan Mela is #33 for the Middlesex Magic

In what was termed a mild upset, the guys from Massachusetts knocked off Davis and his teammates, 72-69 in the UAA Semi-Finals. Mela opened the eyes of many coaches – including English – by scoring 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting. “That was the first time Coach English saw me play,” Mela told KevinMcSports.

After more games in Las Vegas, the Magic came home for a spell and Mela made his way to Providence for an official visit. He came away impressed and a week or so later contacted English and the Friiars feel they’ve secured a steal in the 6-foot-6, 195-pound versatile forward.

“I fell in love with the campus, the coaching staff and everything involved with Providence,” Mela said. “I watched a lot of film with him of practices and games. The way (English) uses guys that do a little bit of everything fits my game. I play a style where everyone can shoot, dribble, pass and that really fits my game.”

Mela describes himself as “a winner” who likes to get his teammates involved. He says he needs to continue to get stronger to compete on the Big East level and scouts say he needs to extend his 3-point shooting to become a dangerous scorer.

Mela’s success this spring drew offers from the likes of Towson, Davidson, Vermont, Richmond, Yale, Northeastern and other schools. He says he’s always wanted a chance to play at the highest level, however, and an offer from Providence checks that box.

“It’s a huge relief,” Mela said. “For people who don’t know, grinding all summer and traveling around the country (for Under Armour events) takes a huge toll on your body and your mind mentally. To say I’m committed to Providence is a huge relief.”



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