Some students who attend large state universities transfer back to schools closer to home.

Some Division I athletes realize they no longer want the commitment that their scholarship demands.

For Rebecca Knight, it was a case of both.

Knight, the former Catherine McAuley All-State basketball player from Alfred, announced this week that she is transferring from the University of Maine.

Knight, 19, is likely headed to the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. She said she plans to visit Huskies Coach Gary Fifield this weekend.

“I’ll take a look at the campus, and see if Coach Fifield would like to have me on the team,” Knight said Thursday from Orono.

Knight’s sister Jessica played ice hockey and lacrosse at USM. Rebecca Knight likes the geography — Gorham is much closer to Alfred (about 25 miles) than Orono.

“I just didn’t find the University of Maine a good fit,” she said. “I want to be closer to my family.”

Knight, a 5-foot-10 guard, played a lot for the rebuilding Black Bears this year, starting 22 games. She averaged 4.9 points and 4.1 rebounds a game.

Knight had been recruited and signed by previous Maine head coach Cindy Blodgett, who was fired after last season. New coach Richard Barron hired Amy Vachon, a former Maine standout and Knight’s coach at McAuley, as an assistant.

“The coaching staff is great,” Knight said. “Coach Barron has the program in the right direction. He was very understanding of my decision.”

Knight said the time commitment for a Division I athlete was overwhelming.

“It’s very demanding. People don’t realize that,” Knight said. “I wasn’t happy. I want to be home, be happy, and enjoy the game of basketball again.”

Knight’s comments are similar to those made by point guard Emily Rousseau of Biddeford. Four years ago, Rousseau transferred from Maine after her freshman season to play for a Division II school.

“It was too demanding and wasn’t a whole lot of fun for me,” Rousseau said at the time. “My whole college experience thus far has just been basketball.”

If Knight ends up at USM, she won’t be the first to join the Huskies from bigger programs. USM reached the Division III Final Four in 2005 and 2006, led by transfers Ashley Marble (from Maine, where she was a volleyball recruit) and Megan Myles (from Division II Merrimack).

Knight is the third freshman to leave the Black Bears team, following guards Kelsey Mattice and Amber Dillon, who exited during the season. Junior Shareeka Manor also left during the season.

Those departures, plus the graduations of three seniors — guard Brittany Williams and forwards Samantha Baranowski and Samantha Wheeler — create seven openings on the roster.

Barron has already signed three players to scholarships — 5-foot-7 Lauren Bodine of Louisville, 5-11 Elizabeth Wood of Catlee, Va., and 5-7 Brittany Wells of Indianapolis.

More players are expected to sign this spring — maybe from as far away as Italy. Barron is currently recruiting there.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

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Twitter: KevinThomasPPH