Laney, Melosky Honored as Scholar-Athletes

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Erin Laney is used to getting good grades. The senior forward on the Muhlenberg women's basketball team even plans to spend her career doling them out. If her latest assessment is any indication, Laney’s future students will be thrilled to take her classes.

Erin Laney
Laney has 558 points and 410 rebounds in her career, and has played in every game over the last four years. Wednesday's victory at Ursinus was her 100th career appearance.
Laney and Nick Melosky of the men’s team were named to the Lehigh Valley Small College Basketball Scholar-Athlete team during a luncheon at Starter’s Pub in Bethlehem.

Asked to grade her team’s season so far, the co-captain took a decidedly optimistic approach.

“Even though statistically we probably don’t deserve an A, I’m going to go ahead and give our team one,” Laney said of the Mules, who have won four of their last five games after a 1-6 stretch. “In a season as long as ours is, it is so hard to not go through ups and downs and bad games. As long as each player is giving everything they have every night, you can’t really ask for anything more than that.”

Laney, a double major in American studies and Spanish, hopes to become a teacher, and perhaps a coach to boot. Along with her dual degrees, she will graduate from Muhlenberg with a certificate in fourth- and fifth-grade education with a specialty in social studies. As if managing a challenging student-teaching schedule weren’t enough, Laney’s basketball commitments keep her plenty busy. The chance to combine her two greatest interests, however, is not something she’d ever want to change.

“With student-teaching, the first half of the semester was so much easier,” Laney said. “Once the season starts, you start getting up at 5:30, teaching all day – basically working a 40-hour job – and then going to class and practice, or even a road trip for a game. Getting to do that is really rewarding, and you really get in touch with the community and touch kids’ lives.”

Laney, who has been named to the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll each of the last two years, has been quite successful for Muhlenberg on the court as well. She has started all 16 games this season, averaging 8.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and a leadership quotient that is much more difficult to quantify.

Nick Melosky
Melosky gave his team a B. "We started out hot, but recently we hit a little rough patch and lost some games. But we're coming together strong now and really picking it up."
“Erin is a tremendous person,” said women’s head coach Ron Rohn. “She is one of the best leaders we have ever had. One of the highlights of my coaching career is spending the last four years with her.”

Melosky, meanwhile, plans to double major in accounting and business administration. Though he has a few years to nail down his career path, the sophomore guard says he’d love to take basketball with him when he leaves.

“I would like to get involved in the business world, maybe even join a sports front office and stay involved in basketball,” Melosky said.

Melosky, an alum of nearby Whitehall High School, joined the Mules (11-5, 6-3) midway through his freshman season after transferring from Lebanon Valley. Averaging 1.9 points and 1.6 rebounds in 8.7 minutes per game, Melosky has carved out a contributing role on a talented Muhlenberg outfit. Off the court, the local product has joined his teammates in helping to enrich the Allentown community through events like the Dream to Read Program. Two weeks ago, both Muhlenberg teams visited Jefferson Elementary School, reading to youngsters and helping them with a craft.

“It has been really rewarding to do so many events in the community and spend time with people in the area that I’m from,” Melosky said.

Whether on the court or in the classroom, Melosky has wasted little time making a strong impression on the program.

“Nick represents what small college basketball is all about,” said men’s coach Scott McClary. “Nobody has been finer than him in that respect. To do what he has done at a school like Muhlenberg is a tremendous accomplishment. He is our hardest worker, and even more so than that he is one of our best teammates. As far as what kind of student and what kind of person he is, absolutely a 4.0 in both respects.”