The University of Maine at Presque Isle is proud to announce the commitment of local basketball standout Caleb Wheaton of Presque Isle, ME who will be continuing his education and basketball career at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
Wheaton, a 3-year varsity player for Presque Isle High School became the focal point of PIHS offense this season, as he averaged 17 points per game despite seeing multiple defenses thrown his way in efforts to slow him and the Wildcats down. Against the best competition Wheaton shined this season and stepped up in big moments. The best example of this was Wheaton's play against two-time State Champions Caribou High School where in two contests Wheaton averaged 29.5 points per game, including a 38-point outburst at Caribou on January 8th in front of a sold out gym. Wheaton's play earned him 2nd Team All-Big East honors.
Wheaton showed consistency from three, shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc this season, despite the extra focus opponents put on guarding him. "We are excited to have Caleb joining us. He is an absolute gym rat that can light it up from the perimeter. His hard work throughout his high school career shows as he got better each year and we are excited to add a player with his work ethic and shooting ability to our program," said UMPI Head Men's Basketball Coach Dan Kane.
Wheaton is no stranger to the UMPI program as he will be joining former teammate Griffin Guerrette who is having another stellar year for the Owls as a sophomore, after gaining North Atlantic Conference Rookie of the Year in his first season, as well as being selected to the state of Maine All-Rookie team by the Maine Basketball Coaches and Writers Association.
When asked about playing continuing to play in his hometown, Wheaton said, "I'm excited to play in front of my family and friends more. After watching some of UMPI's games I think it will be a great experience to play with the team and for Coach Kane." Wheaton explained, "It will be great to be on the same team as Griffin, Nick and some of my other friends on the team, while getting to know the other players."
Wheaton also played for long-time head coach and UMPI Athletics Hall of Famer Terry Cummings, who still holds the UMPI men's basketball program record for most points in a career. "As an UMPI alumni and former coach of the Owls, I couldn't be more pleased with Caleb's decision to attend UMPI. I try to tell my guys to always keep an open mind about staying home and attending UMPI," stated Coach Cummings. "Caleb is the type of player that is going to give you everything he has on the floor."
Over the last three seasons the UMPI men's basketball program has grown in numbers and talent and has proven to be competitive against all of their conference opponents. Over the past three seasons the Owls have advanced to the conference play-offs with this past season advancing to the NAC semifinals after defeating Thomas College in the quarterfinals.
"Caleb is another great addition in our quest for our first-ever North Atlantic Conference Championship," said Kane. "At UMPI the men's basketball program and all of athletics is dedicated to making UMPI a place where the top-players from the county can continue their athletic careers while also receiving a great education. With a mixture of some of the top county and Maine players and players from out-of-state, we strongly believe we can bring a conference title back to the county."
Photo Taken by Dave Allen Graphics Photography 2019