CLICK HERE to read original article, written by Eagle Tribune Staff Writer Dave Dyer
Everyone likes getting a bonus, no matter what kind, which is something that Bradford's Aaron Hall can certainly appreciate.
The 6-foot-7 Hall, you may remember, was a two-sport standout at Central Catholic who was a stalwart in basketball and a standout on the mound. His pitching talent earned him a baseball scholarship to Division 2 LeMoyne.
At LeMoyne, Hall had some success as a relief pitcher, but not enough to overcome some general dissatisfaction with the school.
"I just wasn't getting out of my experience there, athletically and academically, what I wanted," said Hall. "I thought I could get a better situation."
So, after two years at LeMoyne, Hall began shopping around for a school to transfer to. It didn't take him long to settle on Division 3 Saint Joseph's College of Maine.
"I knew about St. Joe's from high school and I knew some kids there," said Hall. "They've had a good (baseball) program and they had my major (Business Management IT). It seemed perfect."
What's more, and this was the bonus, St. Joe's has a basketball program Hall felt he could contribute to.
"That was one of the big things when I realized I was going to transfer," said Hall. "I loved playing basketball at Central and I wanted to play again. I talked to the (St. Joe's coach) and he was receptive to me playing both sports."
Given the opportunity on the court, Hall responded like he hadn't missed two years, starting 22 of 26 games, averaging 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while leading the team in blocked shots.
It's been more of the same and then some this year as Hall is averaging 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds with 28 blocks as the Monks have gone 13-8. As far as Hall is concerned, the bonus has been even more rewarding than he imagined.
"I've been loving every minute of it," said Hall. "It's going even better than expected. I didn't even think I'd start so quickly, but it's worked out."
St. Joseph's coach Robert Sanicola believes it's worked out big time.
"Aaron has been a welcomed addition to our program," said Sanicola. "Since joining us last year, Aaron has provided us with a toughness and presence around the basket we have not had in years. He covers up our mistakes out front on the defensive end and finishes possessions off with rebounds.
"It's no surprise. We knew we were getting a winner. Coach (Rick) Nault did a tremendous job instilling a winning attitude and toughness. He played on some great teams and was part of important games at Central. We have looked for him to share that experience with our guys.
"The only drawback is that I wish I could have coached him for four years."
Much as he has loved his time on the court, however, Hall admits that "baseball is still my first sport" and he says he'll be ready for the baseball season. He was 3-0 last year for St. Joe's with a 3.55 ERA and then enjoyed a fine season for the Kingston Night Owls of the North Shore Baseball League.
The Monks are expecting a banner season on the diamond as they return virtually the entire team from last year's 31-8 campaign, including catcher and captain Jake White of Salem, N.H., and speedy outfielder Joey Murphy, the former Pinkerton standout.
After that, Hall will try to help the Night Owls defend their NSBL title while looking ahead to more baseball as he enters the work force.
"I plan on continuing to play baseball for a few more years," said Hall. "I like playing with them (for the Night Owls) and it's kind of relaxing."
So Hall's revived basketball career is nearing an end once again — disappointing for sure, but it's sure been fun while it lasts.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.