December 7, 2012

They're A-1 for Division I

More than ever, Maine schoolgirl basketball players are earning attention ... and top scholarship offers.

By Mike Lowe
Staff Writer

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Kylie Libby of Cheverus knew from an early age that she wanted to play Division I college basketball, put in the time and work, and now is looking forward to playing next season for Binghamton University. “I’m really excited. I’m looking forward to that next challenge,” she said.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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Kristin Ross of Gorham, also headed to Binghamton, credits playing AAU basketball for being noticed.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Gorham's Berthiaume also noted that social media such as YouTube or Facebook have opened opportunities for Maine players. "There's a lot more networking," he said. "You put videos on YouTube and everyone can see. It's like a personal highlight video that anyone can see."

There is one other factor for improved play: Maine's high school coaches have gotten better.

"I see a lot of coaches spending the time, going to clinics to learn their craft a lot more," said Kelly LaFountain, the girls' coach at Mt. Ararat. "And we're talking to each other more. We're sharing more information."

And in the end, it's the players who are benefiting. Binghamton coaches first noticed Libby during a showcase in Washington, D.C., two years ago and maintained contact.

"I've worked really hard and my parents did whatever they could to help me get to the next level," said Libby. "I've always really wanted to do that. I know it's like a job, they're paying you to go to their school, but I need that. I need that structure.

"I'm really excited. I'm looking forward to that next challenge."

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

CORRECTION: This story was updated Dec. 7, 2012 to reflect that Abby Wentworth of Bethel received a Division I basketball scholarship. She graduated from McAuley in 2007 and went on to play at Manhattan College.

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