Edward Little’s John Shea, center, sits with the Mr. Maine Basketball trophy that he won at the McDonald’s All-Star game Saturday at Newman Gymnasium at Husson University in Bangor. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

John Shea wrapped up his high school basketball career with a monumental weekend.

The Edward Little senior was named Mr. Maine Basketball on Saturday and shortly thereafter announced his commitment to play basketball and attend the University of Maine.

Shea averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds per game this season and led the Red Eddies to an 18-3 record and the Class AA North final, which they lost to Oxford Hills on a shot in the finals seconds of overtime.

Shea said his commitment to UMaine, the state’s only NCAA Division I program, was a quick process. 

“I’m pretty excited,” Shea said. “It all unfolded in the last couple weeks. And I’ve been able to talk to (interim) coach Jason Steadman on the phone, and he’s still waiting to see if he’s going to get the job or not, but I am hoping that with whoever gets the job, whether it’s him or not, they honor my commitment. I’m really excited to get after it with the guys. Division I basketball has always been the goal, and to play for the home state of Maine and help turn this program around is pretty special.”

Steadman was named UMaine’s interim head coach last month after Richard Barron and the school mutually agreed to part ways with four games remaining in the Black Bears’ 6-23 campaign.


Shea is Edward Little’s second Mr. Maine Basketball winner, joining former UMaine player Troy Barnies.

Shea was a key contributor to Edward Little’s 2020 Class AA state championship when he was a sophomore. 

The 6-foot-6 post took on a larger role for the Red Eddies last year, when the basketball season was shortened due to COVID-19, and he entered his senior season as the focal point of opponents’ defensive game plans.

Every opponent tried to knock him off his game, but few were successful. Shea’s on-court toughness on the court was one of the reasons he was told that the Black Bears wanted him. 

“(Steadman) just talked to me, he said he loves my toughness and thinks my drive to win is like none other, and that’s kind of what he’s trying to get at with the program,” Shea said. “He said he doesn’t have a lot of tough guys and is trying to bring more in. He said he loves how I throw guys around, loves my toughness, and the cherry on top is that I’m a Maine guy. I think they’re starting to recruit Maine kids because they need Maine kids in their program — in years past there was a lot of international recruiting — so I’m really excited.”

Shea said he has a preferred walk-on spot on the team, and that a couple of scholarship players will likely be entering the transfer portal soon, opening up some scholarship spots that Steadman told him he’ll have a chance to earn.


A few other area seniors have announced where they will continue their basketball careers.

Lewiston’s Malik Foster will play at Central Maine Community College, while Oxford Hills’ Colby Dillingham and Gray-New Gloucester’s Jay Hawkes have committed to Southern Maine Community College, which last week claimed the USCAA Division 2 men’s basketball championship.

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