Maddie Hasson saw Bowdoin College’s hopes of playing in another NCAA Division III women’s basketball championship game taken away a week ago when the NCAA canceled all sporting events because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday she received better news.

Hasson, the former South Portland High standout, was named the 2020 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division III national player of the year. She is the first Maine native to win the award and the third Bowdoin player.

“I’m not sure it takes any sting away,” said Hasson, a 5-foot-11 senior forward. “But it’s definitely an incredible honor that I’m blessed to receive.”

Hasson ended her Bowdoin career as the program’s sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,321 points. This year, she led the Polar Bears (27-2) in scoring (16.7 points per game), rebounds (7.9) and steals (1.9). She also averaged 2.0 assists.

“This is a huge deal,” said Bowdoin Coach Adrienne Shibles. “As a Maine native, I am so grateful she chose to stay in her home state and decided to pursue her education at Bowdoin. That’s becoming increasingly rare. It was so special we had the opportunity to work together. It’s so sad it was cut short.”

Asked what made Hasson such a special player, Shibles provided a long list.

“It’s hard to just say one thing,” she said. “Maddie is such a fierce competitor, and her will to win was enormous this year. I really just feel she led the way with regard of the sense that, ‘We will be back, we will be vying for a national championship despite the fact we lost four incredible seniors (from the year before).’

“She was a relentless worker. She had great poise on the court. You knew when the going gets tough she wants the ball in her hands, but she was not selfish. I could go on and on. She’s the whole package, an incredible player and an incredible person.”

Hasson said Thursday that playing at Bowdoin made her a better player.

“I think there’s been a lot of hard work that goes into it, a lot of support from a lot of people, a lot of hard work from my teammates,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it alone … a lot of hard work from my coaches, developing me into the player I am today. It was a compilation of a lot of hard work.”

Hasson joins Eileen Flaherty (2007) and Kate Kerrigan (2018) as Bowdoin winners of the WBCA Division III national player of the year award.

The only other Maine native to win a player of the year award was former University of Southern Maine star Ashley Marble, from Woodland. She won the D3hoops.com player of the year award in 2007.

Hasson, whose mother, Lynne Hasson, coaches the South Portland girls’ basketball team, hopes to become a basketball coach after graduating from Bowdoin.

“She’ll be amazing,” said Shibles. “She has so much to give.”

Bowdoin, which lost in the Division III national championship game the last two years, was preparing for its Sweet 16 tournament game against Trine University when news came last Thursday that the NCAA had canceled the tournament.

“There were a group of us still at the gym (after practice) and our coaches came down and stuff started getting posted on Twitter,” said Hasson. “The rest of the team came in and we got the news. It was just very sad, a lot of tears.”

Hasson and Shibles said events of the past week have shown that the NCAA’s decision was the right one.

It didn’t make leaving her teammates easier for Hasson. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Bowdoin campus is closed.

“That’s the hardest part of this,” said Hasson. “In addition to losing the last nine days we would have together as a team, losing the spring on campus with my team, and all the memories we would have made the last couple of months, that’s difficult.”


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