Melendez, a highly decorated senior guard on the men's basketball team was named the 2015-16 Apprentice School Athlete of the Year. He becomes the third men's basketball player since 2012 to be named Apprentice School Athlete of the Year joining Isiah Harrison (2012) and Tevin Andrews (2013). Melendez received this recognition on June 27th at the 67th Annual Peninsula Sports Club Headliners Night program.
The Suffolk native and outside machinist apprentice, was name to the 2015 VaSID All-State Team and is a two time USCAA First Team All-American (2014 and 2015). As a senior, he lead the team in scoring (17.8 ppg), rebounding (9.2 rpg), and three-pointers made (52). This past season he socred a career high 34 points against Williamson College of the Trades, scored 20 points or more in seven contest and finished with twelve double-doubles. Melendez finishes his Builder career number one in 3-point field goals made (206), fourth in points (1476), fifth in field goals made (523), third in rebounds (841), and second in rebound per game (8.4).
His coach, Franklin Chatman, was very proud of Melendez and what he accomplished with the men's basketball team as a four year starter. "Jay is a hard working young man that is commited to The Apprentice School on and off the court," said Chatman. "He is a motivated student-athlete that displays the true meaning of teamwork."
Michael Rhodes, his supervisor, in the outside machinist department of the shipyard, spoke highly of Jay. "Jay is a bright, respectful, and determined craftsman who strives for perfection." "Mr. Melendez does a great job in getting along with others and has the potential to be a leader with his skill set," said craft instructor Josh Wehr. Craft instructor, Alan Riley, also stated, "There was not a person on the crew that Melendez could not work with to perform his job. Once he had his head wrapped around a job, he required little assistance after the fact."
During his time at The Apprentice School, Melendez praises his instructors and coaches for his success in the classroom and on the water front as well as on the court. "As an 18 year old, right out of high school, I was nervous and wasn't sure if I could handle my apprenticeship and playing basketball. My instructors both in the classroom and on the water front were so helpful and understanding," he said. Cliff Coleman, assistant coach and former X43 apprentice, helped by offering insight about the trade throughout Melendez's career. "The men's basketball coaching staff taught myself and my teammates how to not only be successful in our sport but to be successful at life," Melendez added. "Overall, my experience here at The Apprentice School, is something so unique that I truly feel that by making it through, I am prepared for anything that life throws at me and there will be nothing that I cannot overcome."