September 13, 2013

Steve Solloway: For UMaine Hall of Famer, a reluctant meeting of past, present

(Continued from page 1)

"I may have seen him again at the awards dinner on campus. I don't really remember. I'll never forget him walking off the court. That's my last memory of Francois."

Bouchard is on the staff at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland. He works in the high-risk unit. His days can be difficult, working with kids who have lost their freedom. Special needs kids. Kids in the Day One program, dealing with abuses. He's been at Long Creek for seven years.

He's added more than 30 pounds to his last playing weight, which may be one reason he wasn't interested in having his photo taken. He's more concerned about his family's security, which is why, for instance, he declined to say where he lives.

He doesn't talk to his Long Creek kids about his past. Their past and future are more important. He takes them bass fishing. Teaches them to cast, how to play the fish after it's hooked. He sees their smiles when they pull the fish out of the water.

Simple smiles of accomplishment. Bouchard's 20-point games and winning baskets have been replaced by a different applause.

Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

Twitter: SteveSolloway


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