Bowdoin standout Maddie Hasson drives to the basket during a game against Tufts last season. Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald Buy this Photo

When Maddie Hasson graduated from Bowdoin College last spring, she was unsure if basketball would be in her future.

After all, graduation came a few short months after the coronavirus pandemic abruptly halted her final collegiate season on the court.

“After the initial feeling of the season being over wore off, I knew I wanted to keep playing,” said Hasson, 22, who was named the 2020 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division III national player of the year, becoming the first Maine native to win the award and the third Bowdoin player.

The questions, of course, was where and when?

A month after graduating, Hasson — who is Bowdoin’s sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,321 points — found a new home about 2,800 miles away in Ireland thanks to the nonprofit organization Sport Changes Life.

The organization, which has offices in Northern Ireland and the United States, says its primary goal is to provide students an overseas educational experience through sports.


Hasson said she applied to the program in April, was accepted in May and then received an offer to play for the Templeogue Basketball Club, a semi-pro team in Dublin. The former South Portland High School standout is also studying for a master’s degree in International Business Management at Griffith College, also in Dublin.

Hasson said Templeogue is not affiliated with Griffith College, but the club helped place her so she could continue her education. 

“When I was a senior at South Portland, a senior player at Bowdoin got accepted to the (Sports Changes Life) program so that’s how I heard about it,” Hasson said. “I thought about coaching, or looking for a graduate assistant job but wanted to keep playing.”

She has been practicing with Templeogue for the last three weeks, and the first game is scheduled for Saturday. She began classes at Griffith on Monday.

Maddie Hasson enjoyed a standout career with the Bowdoin women’s basketball team, and now she is planning to play in Ireland this fall. Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald Buy this Photo

Hasson, who arrived in Ireland in September and then quarantined for two weeks, said she was unsure what role she would play with her new team.

“A lot of it will be sharing what we know, bringing the knowledge from playing college basketball in the states,” she said. “It’s been really nice to be here and play organized basketball in practice.”


Bowdoin, which had lost in the Division III national championship game the last two years, was enjoying another standout season before the NCAA canceled the tournament because of the pandemic. The Polar Bears were preparing for a Sweet 16 game against Trine University when the season was shuttered.

“It was a blessing to have Maddie on the team for four years,” said Bowdoin coach Adrienne Shibles. “This program is a perfect fit for her to travel to get her master’s degree while playing on an elite stage. … Maddie improved dramatically over the course of her time at Bowdoin. She provided evidence that she was one of the top Division III players in the country.”

Now, she eagerly awaits her next chapter on the hardwood.

“I’m excited for the season to start and just to be back on the court after what happened at the end of last season,” she said. 

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