Shore League Preview: Myles Mack

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — The Jersey Shore League kicks off next week in Belmar, N.J. Before the basketball festivities begin, caught up with the enrolled newcomers to get their take on preparations and the Rutgers experience. Today we hear from McDonalds All-American Myles Mack.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Former St. Anthony High (Jersey City, N.J.) star Myles Mack has plenty of experience playing at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. But until earlier in the month, Mack enrolled at his new home and spends most of his days at the RAC.

Mack enrolled at Rutgers for the first summer session of classes and said he is already very comfortable on campus.

"It feels great to finally be here," Mack said after a voluntary workout at the RAC last week. "I'm done with high school and coming to the next level. Coming to Rutgers is special. I was looking forward to this since last year. I just can't wait until we get the season started."

A guard, Mack played multiple games at the RAC during his career with legendary St. Anthony's coach Bob Hurley. In March, Mack logged 17 points and five steals in a tournament game in Piscataway.

"We had a good game here and I hadn't played good here for two years," Mack said. "Then when I committed, I played a great game here. It was a great experience hitting some shots knowing I'd be here full-time in less than a year.

"Being a part of this is the best I could ask for. I don't think I could have chosen any place in the country other than this and been satisfied. It feels great to be here."

Mack is one of nine Scarlet Knights set to play for the Gutter Cleaners in the Jersey Shore League at St. Rose's McCann Activities and Athletics Center in Belmar, N.J. He already has relationships with Jerome Seagears, Greg Lewis, Austin Johnson, Austin Carroll, Wally Judge and Derrick Randall and will be joined by Malick Kone and Elijah Carter when they enroll for the second summer session.

"It feels great working with these guys," Mack said. "We've built a great bond already, so I think it's going to be a great season. I really didn't have any time off [after high school], but that's a good thing. This is getting me better and that's all I want out of my summer is to become a better basketball player. I'm thankful for it.

"The best thing you can do is play with and against these guys and get the earliest start possible."

For now, Mack is enrolled in a coaching theory class along with Seagears and Lewis to ease into the college experience.

Still adjusting to college life, Mack said things can get confusing — especially at a school with five different campuses and a bus system — but that is part of growing up.

"It's kind of confusing," Mack said "I just have to get used to it, but I'm adapting quickly so far. I don't think it will be a problem for me. I'm in a great class though. It's great to meet new people and see how interactive we all are with each other even though I don't know them. Just to get a feel for it and see how it feels for a college class. You have to pay attention very carefully to everything your teacher and your classmates say."

Along with the adjustment to college, the 5-foot-10 Mack admitted the transition to Big East basketball will be a challenge.

"I'm used to playing high-level basketball, but this is the Big East," he said. "It's just the physicality and changes in competition. The quickness is different. I think I'm quick, but I need to get quicker and have more speed to compete. I'm one of the quicker guys, so I think that will be a slight advantage for me."

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