Special To The NCHSAA
MaxPreps has a world-wide reach, according to SFC Keith Megginson, currently serving his third rotation in Afghanistan.
Megginson's son, Josh Megginson, is a 6-foot senior guard at Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville, and this is the first basketball season that his father has missed.
"Josh first told me about MaxPreps (last year)," Megginson related during a phone call from Afghanistan. "I took a look at it and said, ‘Wow, this is awesome!' It hurts even more this year because it's his final year of high school. I wanted to at least see some pictures."
So the Special Forces Green Beret recently e-mailed Eastern Regional Manager Vin Iovino to see if MaxPreps had any plans to take pictures in the Fayetteville area. He stressed, "I didn't particularly need it to be of my son, just at least pictures of a school in Fayetteville."
One day later, Iovino, along with MaxPreps representatives Al Woodall and Jim Stout, sent e-mails back to him. As a favor to U.S. servicemen who risk their lives every day to defend our country, MaxPreps officials elected to go the extra mile. The company is going to assist Josh's coach, David Simmons, in allowing him to take his game videos from January and upload them on Agile Sports Technology (Hudl), which will allow Keith to watch his son's games on the Internet. Coaches use this same process to send player recruiting videos to colleges.
Through nine games, Josh is averaging an impressive 15.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and is shooting 70 percent from the free throw line. He dished out 10 assists during a 69-54 victory over Westover (Fayetteville, N.C.).
Coach Simmons calls Josh "one of our leading returnees. He's being recruited as a point guard and a scorer. He should be averaging 18 or 20 points. He's also a good on-ball defender and understands the game. Underclassmen take to his leadership.
Josh admits, "They tell me to shoot more. They say that I pass too much."
Josh misses his dad, too, because despite many deployments during his 15-year career, Keith previously always had managed to stick around for the basketball season.
Keith met Josh's mother, Rina, while he was stationed in Panama. Josh was seven years old when they began their 12-year marriage. Each year their bond has grown stronger. Keith had participated in football, track and tennis at Sexton (Lansing, Mich.) and Rina had played some basketball in Panama. They also have a daughter, Keina, a promising sixth-grade basketball player.
Josh was a talented baseball pitcher/shortstop as a youngster, but gave up the sport for basketball.
"The glory and lights of basketball kind of took him away from baseball," Keith said with a touch of disappointment in his voice. "He definitely had potential to play baseball at the high school and probably the college level."
Keith played baseball in a Lansing summer league with future Major League Baseball star John Smoltz. He also closely followed basketball star Magic Johnson as a youngster, because his mother was the secretary at Johnson's high school, Lansing Everett. In fact, Josh proudly wears Magic's old high school uniform number, 32.
Keith is extremely proud of being a second-generation Green Beret. His father, Herschel Roper, served in Vietnam and was one of just two Green Berets who were chosen to serve on the honor guard at President John F. Kennedy's funeral.
He also has a lot of pride in his son.
"Josh, this past year, has matured greatly and has stepped up considerably since I've been gone and as a dad, you can't ask for more than that," Keith said.
Referring to the upcoming games on the internet, Keith said, "It's more than what I was looking for. I am ecstatic. I want Josh to know that I am there mentally with him. (I want him to) just keep charging."