W&M Lands 6’9″ Basketball Recruit

Harvey should provide immediate impact next season on a team that was previously starved for depth at the big man spot. [photo via branchwest.com]
William & Mary Head Coach Tony Shaver and his staff added to one of the team’s deepest recruiting classes when it signed a big recruit in Mehkel Harvey two weeks ago (and we mean “big” literally). Already with four highly touted recruits in the W&M’s incoming class, the Tribe added much-needed height with Harvey in an apparent move to shore up support behind the Tribe’s superstar big man Nathan Knight.

The aforementioned 2018 class was deep prior to Harvey’s signing, but it was comprised only of guards. Mehkel brings the size and depth that W&M fans and coaches have craved since the beginning of last season. But enough talk. Let’s learn more about the Tribe’s newest recruit, Mehkel Harvey.

Mehkel Harvey: Highlights & Quick Hits 

  • Height: 6’9″
  • Weight: 200
  • Height/Weight Comparison: Sean Sheldon (6’9″ 225 lb)
  • Position: Forward/Center
  • Hometown/High School: Huntington Beach, CA/Ocean View High School
  • Twitter Account@Mehkelz
  • Other Notable Offers:
    (UTEP, Portland, Florida Gulf Coast)

High School Career

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 6.11.44 PM
[via Maxpreps.com]
As you can glean from his stats above, Mehkel absolutely dominated in high school. The best part is perhaps that he improved each season he played. In both his junior and senior years, Mehkel averaged a double double. And in his senior season, he finished with a slightly insane per-game stat line: 17.6 ppg, 13.4 rebounds, 5.7 blocks, and 1.4 assists per game. Oh yeah, and he also had three triple-doubles in his senior year — all coming from the big man (center) position. He is the type of post playing stat sheet stuffer that Tribe fans crave, and one we can’t wait to see don the Green and Gold next season in the ‘Burg.

After a remarkable senior year, Mehkel received recognition from the Daily Pilot of The Los Angeles Times, earning a first team selection on the Daily Pilot Boys’ Basketball Dream Team. On Mehkel, the Daily Pilot wrote:

“Thanks to the 6-foot-9 Harvey and his 7-3 wingspan, the Seahawks reached the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs. The senior center averaged 17.6 points, 13.4 rebounds, 5.7 blocks and one steal per game, earning him All-CIF Southern Section Division 3AA and fourth-team All-Orange County honors, and a share of the Golden West League MVP. Harvey, who recorded three triple-doubles this season, led Ocean View to its third consecutive undefeated Golden West League crown. Coach Roger Holmes said Harvey has committed to William & Mary, an NCAA Division I program in Williamsburg, Va. Harvey is a repeat Dream Team selection.”

Fit with the 

Mehkel fits in very well with what the Tribe wants to do, and he might just be in the best position of any of the incoming freshman class to receive big time minutes right away. With the graduation of senior center Cole Harrison to graduation, the Tribe is incredibly thin behind Nathan Knight — and that might be an understatement.

Last season, the Tribe tested out Paul Rowley at the big man position; although he performed admirably, Paul is a natural power forward, and doesn’t belong at the center spot. Even though Rowley is the same height as Mehkel (6’9″), his smaller frame makes him better suited as a three point shooter on the outside (which is definitely his forte). Mehkel not only has good height (at 6’9″, don’t you forget it!), but he also has a wingspan of 7’3″ — wow. Let’s not forget that he’s known for his block ability, finishing with double digit block totals more than once during his high school career. With the addition of Mehkel and recently acquired transfer 7’0″ Andy Van Vliet (from Wisconsin), a seemingly thin center group will now seems to be an area of strength for at least the next couple of years (but don’t forget that Van Vliet will have to sit out next season due to transfer eligibility rules).

Regarding the upcoming season, the Tribe now has its depth big man — the missing piece of the puzzle has been filled. The team had been searching for someone who could give Nathan Knight a rest, and it seems to have finally found that in Mehkel. He is a prospect with enormous character and even more potential; learning under Nathan Knight can only work wonders for his growth. To close, we’ll leave you with one more quote from the Daily Pilot of The Los Angeles Times:

“Without Harvey [during his Sophomore season due to injury], Ocean View [High School] made the quarterfinals, losing at home to top-seeded Rancho Mirage, 90-62. Many didn’t expect the Seahawks to advance that far, but they went into Servite in the second round and won, 56-53.

That victory stands out to Harvey as his favorite athletic moment, and to Coach Tim Walsh that says a lot about Harvey.

‘He didn’t even play in that game. That’s the kind of kid he is, a really good kid,’ Walsh said of the soft-spoken Harvey, who turned 16 in August. ‘He has no idea how good he could be. He’s not even close to his potential. He has to keep growing. He’s kind of grown into his body a little bit. His offensive improvement is going to continue.'”

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