From zero offers to walk-on weapon: the Melvion Flanagan story
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Melvion Flanagan has perhaps been the biggest surprise of this 2022-23 Wichita State men’s basketball team. The 5-foot-10 walk-on sophomore guard who played just three minutes through the first six weeks of the season is now making quite a name for himself throughout the American Athletic Conference.
Against South Florida on Sunday Flanagan scored a team high 16 points, including two clutch three-pointers late, to complete the Shockers’ 14-point comeback - and that’s just one piece of the walk-on’s latest tear.
While it may have shocked fans in Wichita, back in Flanagan’s hometown of Alexandria, La., folks knew that once the guard got his chance he would do what he had always done.
“I knew if they played him, he would make plays,” said Melvin Flanagan, Melvion’s father. “One thing about him, he’s a gym rat. He’s going to stick to his craft. He puts in the work, so he’ll be fine.”
Melvion’s hard work must not have gone to waste as he had quite the illustrious high school career for the Peabody High School Warhorses.
“Oh [he was] phenomenal, I loved it,” his father said. “I know coach was yelling at him, but I’d come home, and I’d be hoarse. I would be so excited and jumping.”
Flanagan’s two-time state champion career in which he was his team’s leading scorer and won the outstanding player award in his senior year title game is filled with many great stories, including his career-high scoring game.
“We were playing in a tournament and they had an outstanding player,” said Charles Smith, Flanagan’s high school coach and the winningest coach in Louisiana history. “At the end of the third quarter the guy had like 36 points. I pulled Melvion to the side and I said, ‘Look man, this guy is killing us.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry I got this.’ I think the guy ended up with 44 points. Melvion had 48.”
“I caught fire quick,” Flanagan said. “That 48 just ended up there.”
Despite his decorated high school career, Flanagan had no Division I offers coming out of high school. He decided to go the junior-college route and play at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College where he averaged 20.4 points per game.
Once again, Flanagan felt under-recruited, only receiving scholarship offers from much smaller schools in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. He decided to bet on himself one more time, turning down the scholarship offers to try to prove himself in the American Athletic Conference at Wichita State and play for his father’s old teammate, Isaac Brown.
“I feel like I shouldn’t have to settle,” Flanagan said. “I can go with my gut and play anywhere to be honest. Coach (Brown) gave me the opportunity to come to this school and walk on and show what I can do, and I feel like I’m doing it.”
Now the Peabody Warhorse has a whole hometown behind him as he proves doubters wrong yet again.
“A guy that I work with paged over the intercom and said ‘Flanagan’s in the game!” Melvin Flanagan said. “Everybody went to the TV room so we could start watching. . . Then to end the half, he got the little floater. I said , ‘Well he’s in the zone now, he’s ready. He’s ready to play.’”
“It makes me feel special because where I grew up there’s a lot of fuss, fight, hate,” Melvion Flanagan said. “Just to see the whole community get on my back and take me out and just to put me on - man, i love the community. . . Alexandria. I love my city.”
“We always had dreams of being in stuff like this.. and it came true.”
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