The list of accomplishments couldn’t grow much longer for Jamie Plummer. All she needed was the proper way to cap it all off.
The coaches in her conference took care of that for her. Richmond’s Plummer, a senior forward on the University of Maine Augusta women’s basketball team, was named Yankee Small College Conference Player of the Year during the conference’s awards banquet on March 3.
“Being my senior year, it was definitely a goal that pushed me to work in the offseason and throughout the season,” Plummer said. “I think it was just something that kind of symbolizes … the closing of a really, really amazing career that I have been blessed to have.”
Plummer got the award after leading the Moose with 18.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, finishing first and third, respectively, in those categories across the conference. She guided UMA to the semifinals of the YSCC tournament, and finished her career as the program’s all-time leading scorer (1,997 points) and rebounder (1,186).
“She’s worked to improve every element of her game in her four years here,” UMA coach and athletic director Jennifer Laney said. “She’s never satisfied. She wants to push harder and further.”
Plummer had an added motivation. She won the award two years ago as well, and said she “didn’t want to peak at my sophomore year.”
“Between my sophomore year and senior year receiving them, it was definitely a different feeling between the two,” she said. “Senior year it was more of a symbol of the career and love for basketball that I’ve had, and the work from all of my teammates over the course of the year. My sophomore year, it was more of a surprise and just a reassurance that ‘Oh, I can do this.’ “
If Plummer had any doubts that she could play at the college level, they didn’t last long. She followed an unusual path to Augusta, starting first at Bates before transferring in time to play her freshman season with the Moose. She had every intention to transfer, even telling Laney of her plans, but changed her mind after arriving at the program.
“I knew the second I stepped on the basketball court there and got into my biology major with some of that faculty that it was really the place where I was meant to be,” Plummer said. “It’s definitely been proof that everything happens for a reason.”
It was good news for Laney, and it became great news after Plummer went off for 31 points, 12 rebounds and eight steals against Eastern Maine CC in her UMA debut.
“I knew from that very first moment that she was something special,” Laney said. “And she just continued to prove it every day for the next four years. It was never enough. She always wanted to push more, to get stronger, to get faster, to shoot better, to outmuscle people.”
That drive was evident in the progression of Plummer’s game. In high school, the former Richmond standout could dominate inside with her height, currently listed at 6-foot-1. In college, Plummer has worked hard to add an outside element to her game. She led the team, and was second in the YSCC, with a 36.8 3-point shooting clip this season.
“She’s become an incredible 3-point threat throughout her time at UMA,” Laney said. “And I would also say, from her freshman to senior year, her strength on the inside has improved a lot. She’s such a versatile player.”
Laney also praised Plummer’s leadership qualities, saying that she’s become the vocal leader both on and off the court.
“She’s really taken all of the incoming freshmen under her wing. She reaches out to players,” Laney said. “She does all the things behind the scenes that every coach wishes one of their leaders would do. And she does it without the hopes of getting recognized.”
Plummer said she’s filled that role while preaching one consistent message to her teammates.
“I kept saying to my teammates over and over this year that it’s about the journey and not the destination,” she said. “We need to let all the moments soak in.”
Plummer hopes there are some more to come, even if her UMA playing days are over. She plans to go to physical therapy school at the University of North Florida, but doesn’t intend to leave the game just yet.
“Hopefully in my future I will be working with athletes, treating them and such, but I definitely plan to hopefully coach some day, keep playing somehow,” she said. “There’s no way that basketball’s out of my life.”
Drew Bonifant — 621-5638