The milestone happened on Feb. 13 vs. Atlantic County Institute of Technology.
When Winslow Township High School senior Amiaya Melvins scored her 1,000th point on Monday, Feb. 13, she had no idea she was that close to achieving the milestone. Her teammates and assistant coach didn’t even know. Only head coach Dan McGettigan and her parents knew, and they kept it a secret.
After Melvins sunk two free throws in the third quarter at home versus Atlantic County Institute of Technology, her teammates ran onto the court and mobbed her. Hugs and cheers ensued, and her coaches presented her with flowers.
“It was really a great feeling,” Melvins recalled. “I wasn’t even paying attention to how many points I had. I was just out there playing my game, and I got it and they surprised me and came after me screaming and congratulating me.”
This achievement wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for McGettigan doing research. He knew she was getting close to 1,000 points and started digging and doing what he could to find her records from freshmen year. It was not an easy task since the previous head coach, who was Melvins’ coach freshman year, didn’t give McGettigan any records when he stopped coaching.
Between his research, the records he kept her sophomore through senior year and Melvins’ mother keeping track, he was able to compile them, and the morning of the day she reached 1,000 points was when he realized she was only 11 points away.
“We were in a scramble,” McGettigan recalled. “We had to contact the coach of the other school to let them know it was a possibility and contact mom and dad to make sure they were going to be there. I went and got flowers and balloons and we didn’t tell Amiaya. I didn’t even tell my assistant coach or any of the kids until after the game had started. The only ones who knew were me and her parents. It’s a really nice achievement.”
McGettigan said most players who score 1,000 points had to have played significant minutes every year, including freshman year. He said what made this more special is because the basketball team Melvins’ freshman year was filled with talented players, but she was part of the starting lineup and played significant minutes.
“They were loaded with talent and they had a lot of seniors,” McGettigan said. “Two graduated and got Division I scholarships. A couple other kids played Division III basketball.”
What makes this even more notable is Melvins hasn’t played a full season. She missed three games earlier in the season after she was elbowed in the face and fractured her cheekbone. McGettigan said after she left in the third quarter, it ended up being a close game. So did the two other games she missed, but his team battled and won them all. Even though Melvins didn’t play, he said it’s partly because of her they were able to pull away with victories because she’s taught them to never give up.
Melvins said McGettigan is the one who taught her those things and more.
“He’s taught me how to lead a team, how to be a team player and how to make other people play better,” she said.
As of Thursday afternoon, the team’s record is 18–6 with two regular season games left before the state tournament next week. No matter what happens the remainder of the season, Melvins will leave Winslow Township knowing what an impact she made on the basketball program.
“I think this is the best thing I’ve ever done because not many people can score 1,000 points,” she said. “This is a big accomplishment for me.”