Melvin prepares for prep school

Cleveland Melvin had a memorable senior season for Lake Clifton (Baltimore, Md.) in 2008-09. Melvin averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocked shots a game for the Lakers, who won the Maryland Class 3A championship over Seneca Valley at the Comcast Center.

Now the 6-foot-8, 230-pound first team All-Met selection will spend a year at Notre Dame Prep (Fitchburg, Mass.) to work on his basketball skills.

"I picked Notre Dame Prep because I know they'll get me ready for college, both basketball-wise and academically," Melvin said. "They have a good program up there and a good track record for getting players ready for college. I'll be heading up there in August, around the time that school starts. I think it is a good move for me."

"He is definitely a D-I player," said Lake Clifton head coach Herman Harried, who played college basketball at Syracuse. "He has the size, the toughness and the ability. He has improved each year here at Lake Clifton and will work hard and keep getting better. He can do a lot of things to make your team better. He is a good player, and he wants to win and will do what you need him to do. He has had a lot of colleges recruiting him, and I have no doubt that he definitely can be a D-I player."

Melvin played mostly center in high school, but he wants to be a forward in college.

"I want to be a 4 [power forward] in college, maybe play some 3 [small forward] in college, too," he said. "That is why I'm working on my outside game this summer. I'm working on my outside shot, ballhandling, passing and my footwork, so I can be a forward in college. I'll be working on my forward skills at Notre Dame next year, too."

Melvin said he received recruiting interest from a range of different colleges as a senior at Lake Clifton, including Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason, Loyola, Towson and James Madison.

"Some of the schools are still recruiting me," he said. "I'm thinking that I'll have a lot more schools see me this summer and at prep school next year. I like some of the schools that recruited me before, and I guess I'll have more schools coming in this year. I'm really wide open on colleges and recruiting at this point."

With a post-grad year under his belt at Notre Dame Prep, Melvin could be one of the more heavily recruited big men in Maryland's Class of 2010.

James Quinn covers high school basketball for MDVarsity.com