Emily Esposito has always found joy on the basketball court. When that disappeared last year, the former Gorham High star knew she was in the wrong place.

So Esposito, the 2017 Miss Maine Basketball winner, transferred from Villanova to Boston University. The Terriers announced her addition on their website Tuesday.

“I wasn’t enjoying the basketball aspect, I wasn’t enjoying what I was studying,” said Esposito on Tuesday. “It was two years of character building for me. But I wouldn’t change it because I needed those two years to see what I wanted.”

According to NCAA transfer rules, Esposito must sit out a year, although she said that she will appeal that ruling.

Even if she can’t play next year, Esposito said she has found a place where she is comfortable and happy. “Me choosing Boston University is the first decision I’ve made in my life that was for Emily the person and not Emily the basketball player,” she said. “It was a big moment for me. When I visited there, I practiced with the girls and they were all clapping and giving high-fives. They were all enthusiastic just to be at practice and that’s something I wanted to experience again.”

She had narrowed her choices to BU and George Washington University. “I think she was looking for a place where she could feel the team chemistry was great and the atmosphere was fun,” said Laughn Berthiaume, her coach at Gorham. “And that’s what she found when she was visiting. She had proven that she can play at any level. At some point, it had to be about what makes her happy.”

Esposito, a 5-foot-9 guard, sat out her first season at Villanova and then played in all 32 games last winter as a redshirt freshman. She averaged 18.1 minutes and 5.0 points and 2.1 rebounds. She scored a career-high 27 points in an 86-81 win over Old Dominion in the first round of the WNIT tournament.

But Esposito said she was still struggling with basketball and her studies, where she carried a double major in sociology and psychology. At BU, she will major in exercise science and nutrition.

She entered the NCAA’s transfer portal after the season and drew interest from many teams. Marisa Moseley, the second year coach at BU, was one of the first to contact Esposito.

“Once everything was official, we reached out to forge a relationship,” said Moseley. “It was easy to get to know her and appreciate not only what she can do on the court but what she was looking for off the court and what she can add to our program.”

Moseley loves Esposito’s mid-range game, her ability to drive to the basket and her competitiveness. “She’s very versatile,” said Moseley. “I’m excited to let her move around and see where she fits in.”

And Esposito is eager to show what she can do.

“I’m going to take it one year at a time,” she said. “My focus is just trying to enjoy the game again and enjoy the college experience.”