Ocean County never gets the same love as Monmouth County. Each year Monmouth County dominates the Shore and state ranking. When it comes to the awards at the end of the year. Monmouth County dominates most years with players from the county. In recent years it was Kelly Hughes of Point Pleasant that put Ocean County on the map. Kelly was a mega star and one of the best players in shore history. But now there is a another Hughes at Pt. Pleasant who is making her mark.
Megan Hughes was one of the best freshman in the Shore Conference two years ago. The junior made the All Freshman team and had a breakout freshman year. She is already on her way to being a 1000 point scorer and will one day wear a Division one uniform. But for Megan Hughes it has not been a easy road. Unlike Kelly Hughes who came into Pt. Pleasant as one of the best freshman in Shore history, Megan has had to work just a little harder to get some attention from the shore Community. Playing in Ocean does not exactly lead to mega exposure or big time recognition. So despite being one of the best juniors in the Shore this up and coming season Megan is unknown by many shore fans.
As a freshman Megan Hughes averaged 10 points a game. She proved right out the gate she would be a special player for the next 4 years. In fact many people thought she was the younger sister of Kelly Hughes, because of her scoring ability. The lefty has a gift for putting the ball in the basket. She has shooting range much like her namesake, if you leave her open she will make you pay. As a sophomore Megan Hughes stepped up her game even more by averaging 12 points a game. She had some nights that few sophomore have. Like 20 points against the state champs Manasquan, she had 25 points vs Top 10 Donavan Catholic. It is not shocking that she had over 20 points on a number of occasions. Megan has insane length to go along with a rare ball handling skills for someone so long. Last season she had 15 games in double figures…no surprise to those who know her. But this summer Megan was been tested.
Last spring Megan broke her wrist and missed the entire summer recruiting period. Now most kids in this spot would be CRUSHED. But most kids are not Megan Hughes because Megan Hughes is about working, not feeling sorry for herself. She doesn’t play for a big hot shot AAU team, she doesn’t play for a household brand name high school. So a injury like this could be a major issue for a player like herself. In the case of Megan Hughes, she simply went about the business of working on her game.
When Megan told me she wanted to come to camp this summer, I laughed. I said you can’t play with one hand. But there she was at camp anyway, defying my orders for her to stay home, working on her ball handling with one hand. Then she was at the NBS camp doing every drill with one hand. Megan Hughes was at camp almost every week with ONE HAND. This is why this young lady is a little different than most kids. This is why college coaches better play close attention. This fall she has attended NBS and Core Skills with a brace on her hand. But it has not stopped her from doing what she does best score the basketball. Megan Hughes has a desire to improve every time she hits the floor and this is why I love seeing her in the gym. She has that rare gift of SELF MOTIVATION.
Megan Hughes is ALREADY one of the best scoring guards in the shore. College coaches are now seeing what she is all about. She gets the letters, she takes the visits, but she doesn’t let it go to her head. She knows there is much work to be done still. I laughed when she asked if she could play at a certain D1 school that asked her to visit. I told her they’d be very lucky to have her. She knows that she will be asked to carry a heavy load for Pt. Pleasant this season. She will be double and tripled teamed. She will need to be not only a leader on and off the court. But she also will have to be the emotional leader of the team. She clearly is taking all this serious because her work ethic has been nothing short relentless. They are few girls that have put in the hours of Megan Hughes this year.
No player is more ready for this weekend to play in front of college coaches. College coaches will see her length, ball handling skills, scoring ability and insanely underrated defense. They will know that she is a Division one player much like the other Pt. Pleasant star with the same last name. What they can’t see is the work that she has put in over the summer and this fall. They will not see the emotional pain that goes along with a injury that takes your summer away. They will not see the totally commitment she makes every day towards her game. Megan Hughes refuses to be any thing except her best…OCEAN COUNTY HAS STARS AND MEGAN HUGHES PROVES THIS IN A BIG WAY.
MEGAN HUGHES WILL PLAY FOR THE SHORE SHOTS JOHN MAYO TEAM AT SPOOKY NOOK, THIS WEEKEND.