SCARBOROUGH — Mary Redmond wanted to share a public and personal moment Monday with the coach who had the greatest impact on her basketball career. She asked Tom Maines to witness her signing the letter of intent to play for Saint Leo University.
Never mind that Maines and his wife, Rita, coached Redmond for just one season at Scarborough High. She was a junior guard in 2011-12 when the Red Storm advanced to a Western Maine finals matchup with McAuley High.
Redmond believes one year playing for Maines helped her get a basketball scholarship to Saint Leo, a Division II school near Tampa, Fla. Redmond will prep for a year at the Pomfret School in Connecticut before enrolling at Saint Leo in 2014.
Maine high school athletes regularly sign letters of intent and get sports-based scholarships at NCAA Division I or II schools. That they announce a get-together to call attention to one of their coaches is unusual.
“He taught me about the mental part of the game and how to play the game,” said Redmond. “He taught me about leadership. … He was always fair.”
About a dozen family members and friends watched with Tom and Rita Maines in the high school lobby as Redmond signed the form.
Saint Leo plays in the Sunshine State Conference and reached the tournament finals last winter, losing to favored Rollins College. Saint Leo’s record of 14-15 was its best in 15 years. Coach Nikki Jessee finished only her second season.
“She’s a lot like Coach Maines,” said Redmond, a backcourt player who frequently led Scarborough High in scoring last season playing for Ron Cote. “(Jessee) said right out we’re going to win a national title.”
Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at [email protected]