Linfield junior Zach Meikle — known to his friends and teammates as “Meeks” — is living the dream.
“I hoped I’d be able to play in college. Basketball is my main passion,” says the 6-foot-5 forward from Tacoma, Wash.
Meikle has played basketball nearly his entire life, since the age of six or seven, and remembers his father, Brian, coaching him for many of those years.
“My dad helped develop my game and my love for the game. He’s been a big influence and role model in my life,” Meikle says.
Throughout a challenging club experience and strong high school career, he was recruited by a number of schools in the Northwest Conference. By the time he graduated from Stadium High School, Meikle was excited to become a member of the Linfield community.
“I liked the gym, general atmosphere, and the opportunity to play here.”
Linfield Head Coach Larry Doty says Meikle fit right in on campus and immediately became a valuable member of the basketball program.
Off the court, the junior is completing the requirements for a business degree. Basketball-wise, Meikle has not only been able to play, he has excelled. This season, he is averaging career highs of 23.2 minutes, 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game through 14 games.
“Zach has been starting for us for three years now,” Doty says. “He’s a great athlete and a good teammate.”
Doty recalls several examples of Meikle’s excellent on-court play and points specifically to his 10-point, 14-rebound performance at Warner Pacific earlier this year.
“That shows a tremendous effort,” Doty said of the rebounding output, which tied the best performance by an individual Wildcat during the 2011-12 campaign. “That’s the kind of effort Meeks puts into his game.”
Meikle says his goal is to work hard and do everything he can to help his team win.
“I’ve noticed that if you work hard and have a positive attitude, positive things happen to you.”
Though the season has had some ups and downs thus far, both coach and player are excited for the second half of the Northwest Conference season.
“We’ve been coming together as a team, playing together and seeing some roles fall into place. I think we can compete in every game this year,” Meikle says.
Linfield’s schedule affords the team the opportunity to play six of their remaining 10 contests at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Wildcat supporters are eager to see the fruits of unified team efforts, and are glad to have a player as skilled and invested as Meikle on the court.
As for Meikle, he is more than happy to perform.
“I love the competition. It’s a big commitment, but it’s absolutely worth it.”
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