Senior Zane Meeks swishes a three-pointer.
Meeks dunks on his opponents.
Meeks walks the halls.
Everywhere senior Zane Meeks is, there is bound to be a Meeks chant — a low toned, elongated pronunciation of Meeks. What started as a simple reaction to Meeks blocking an opposing team’s shot has turned into a chant echoed throughout the halls of East.
But this upcoming basketball season, those echoes will be noticeably absent from the East stands and hallways. Meeks transferred to the top-ranked basketball prep-school Brewster Academy in New Hampshire on Oct. 1 to advance his goal of playing in the NCAA. While he will “always be a Lancer,” he’s glad he made the tough decision to go to Brewster for the remainder of senior year.
Due to a stress fracture in his foot, Meeks didn’t play in the July open recruitment period causing him to not get as many recruitment looks. Transferring to Brewster will make up for the lost exposure to D1 coaches, according to Meeks.
During a visit to Dartmouth Sept. 20, Meeks stopped by Brewster to look for next year because schools that have expressed interest in him wanted to see him outside of the high school level. According to Meeks, many student athletes do a year of prep school before college to get their bodies ready for college because it is such high level basketball. However, the Brewster team was looking for a player like Meeks for this year and offered him a spot on the team. Suddenly, he only had six days left in Kansas City.
“The focus up there is academics and basketball,” Meeks said. “Those are the two things you’re up there to do. You’re not up there to hang out or party, you’re up there to put yourself in the best possible position to play basketball.”
The East gym will be replaced by venues like Madison Square Garden, the Barclay Center and NBA arenas where he will play in the navy and cardinal Brewster uniform — not to mention the opening game on Nov. 2 being in the Bahamas.
Meeks says he has received overwhelming support from the East community about his decision to leave. After announcing the transfer in the “Upperclassmen fans” group chat, Meeks took a nap and woke up to about 85 snapchats,110 texts and 85 likes on his GroupMe announcement.
Since third grade, the goal for Meeks has been to play his senior season at East and try to win a title, but he’ll miss repping an East jersey, hitting big shots and being able to look into the stands and know everyone that’s cheering.
Coach Shawn Hair describes Meeks as a gym rat, loving to play big in big games and loving the limelight — which he says isn’t a bad thing. With an average of 16.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, Meeks will be a loss to the team, but according to Hair they are focusing on the players they have now. Teammate Isaac McDonald says Meeks was going to be “the glue” of the team, bringing a fleet of threes and controlling the boards.
“Everyone knew he was going to be the man this year,” McDonald said.
Meeks’ father, Rowdy Meeks, was looking forward to watching his son play his senior year at East, but fully supports his son’s decision to go to Brewster — it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
Instead of three to four scouts at games and practices at East, Meeks will be exposed to the average 30 to 40 college coaches per practice. According to Meeks, there were over 15 D1 coaches from colleges like NC state, Pitt and Providence at a pick-up game on his first day at school. At his first Brewster workout, there were nine coaches from big conferences like the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big 10 according to Rowdy.
From one of the top 25 point guards in the nation to a 6-foot-6-inch shooting guard from the Republic of Georgia, the Brewster roster of 13 is packed with talent. Meeks now works on guarding and shooting against the future stars of North Carolina St., UC Berkeley and Ohio St. While only being up at Brewster for short time, as of Oct. 9, Meeks has already received an offer from Columbia University.
Ten Brewster players have been drafted into the NBA in the last eight years. A few big names include former KU stars Devonte Graham, who now plays for the Charlotte Hornets, and Thomas Robinson, who now plays for the Atlanta Hawks.
And maybe one day, Zane Meeks will be included on that list.