ALBANY – If local basketball fans haven’t seen Hudson Falls native Jonathan Beagle since he left that town’s high school after 2020, they’re likely to do a double-take.
Now standing 6-foot-9 and weighing 240 pounds, Beagle has a more mature frame — all the better to begin his freshman season at UAlbany this fall. At UAlbany’s media day Monday, Beagle said that maturity also extends to his intangible qualities, and he credits his two years at St. Thomas More in Connecticut for that.
Beagle, an honorable mention all-state selection as a then-junior at Hudson Falls in 2020, reclassified himself for class of 2022 upon going to St. Thomas More.
“It developed me skill-wise a lot, but I think the biggest thing I got was I matured a lot and I learned how to be a student off the court,” Beagle said of prep school. “I learned what it took to be a real basketball player, but I learned a lot more maturity-wise than basketball-wise.
“It showed me structure,” he added. “When I was at Hudson Falls, I didn’t know how to balance it. Being at prep school really showed me how to balance basketball and academics. I was around a lot of guys who were 19 years old when I was 16 years old, so they kind of led the path for me and showed me the way. It really helped me a lot.”
Ironically, because of the makeup of UAlbany’s roster, Beagle still finds himself as one of the younger guys needing to learn from older teammates.
“They’re great guys. Some of them are 23 years old and they took me under their wing a little bit. It’s cool to see how they treat me because they don’t have to do all that,” Beagle said.
On the court, Beagle is a power forward who has a skill set that can also have him play away from the basket if necessary. According to UAlbany coach Dwayne Killings, that’s because Beagle puts in the work.
“The thing I love about Jonathan is if I come in the gym in the morning, or if I go home, he’s in the gym,” Killings said. “He wants to win, and he put the burden on his back. He wants it all to happen right now.”
What Beagle wants and when he wants it has to be tempered with normal freshman ups and downs.
“He’s got to grow into the role and opportunity he has; it’s going to be hard for him,” Killings said. “He’s going to have really good moments and have some hard moments, but the kid is really talented.”
Killings said Beagle is a very good passer, which shows Beagle’s unselfish nature. To that end, when asked if he has any personal goals this season, Beagle said he had none, but that he simply wanted to help make his teammates better and play as hard as he can so that UAlbany can win the America East.
“He does extra work in the weight room, and he’s up in the office cracking jokes with the coaches,” Killings said. “He makes us better, and he’s always working to make himself better. I love that about him. And if you put five guys against us, I want to go to war with Jonathan Beagle.”