Skowhegan junior Jaycie Christopher, right, heads up the court in front of Maranacook’s Gabby Green, back left, during a central Maine basketball Class A/B quarterfinal game on March 4 in Skowhegan. Christopher accepted a scholarship offer to play basketball for Boston University last week. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Skowhegan Area High School junior Jaycie Christopher no longer has to worry about her post-high school plans.

Christopher, a standout basketball player, said she recently accepted a scholarship offer to play at Boston University.

“Over the past several months, I’ve built a relationship with their coaching staff,” Christopher said. “It’s been really great talking to them. That’s the kind of a school that I’ve always kind of looked at and been ‘That would be a pretty good fit.’ It just felt like the right fit. I was able to go down and walk around campus. That was kind of the final thing of ‘OK, this is where I want to go.'”

BU spokesperson Meg Kelly said in an e-mail that the school could not comment on Christopher’s signing until her National Letter of Intent is signed and cleared.

Christopher will follow in the footsteps of Lawrence graduate Nia Irving, who wrapped up her career with the Terriers during the 2019-2020 season. Christopher would join Gorham native Emily Esposito at BU.

Christopher credited Irving as being a major part of her recruitment to BU.

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“It’s actually really cool how that came about,” Christopher said. “Nia Irving was at one of my games last year, and sent the coaching staff some film. I’ve got to give her credit getting things rolling. It kind of shows the importance of connections in basketball. That was really cool.”

Skowhegan’s Jaycie Christopher, left, drives by Messalonskee defender Shauna Clark during a Feb. 23 game in Skowhegan. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Christopher added that a phone conversation with Irving helped sway her decision to attend BU.

“It was an opportunity for me to ask some questions, that was really great,” Christopher said. “Having played at BU for four years, she was able to tell me a lot about the program. A lot of it was stuff that she confirmed. The way she talked about the program was really great. She was also able to give me some great advice, which was really cool, because coming from the same area, the same conference, kind of growing up as a central Maine kid, it was great to get some advice from her.”

Christopher had talked to several Division I schools, including the University of Maine and a school in the Ivy League, before choosing the Terriers.

“I’ve been talking to a few schools since the end of spring last year and into the summer,” Christopher said. “Just the experience to meet all of these coaches and talk to them and getting to know their programs, it was a great experience. It was actually really hard (making a decision). Some of the relationships that I built with a lot of the coaches were really great. I had to call them to (tell them about going to BU), and that was kind of hard.”

The Terriers finished 12-3, falling 64-54 to Lehigh in the Patriot League championship game.

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Gardiner graduate Mary Toman is third on the University of Southern Maine women’s basketball team in scoring, averaging 6.3 points per game. She also averages 3.7 rebounds a game for the Huskies (1-5).

Toman has scored nine points in two games so far this season, a 62-53 loss to Rhode Island College on Feb. 24 and a 69-62 win over the University of New England on Feb. 28.

“Going into the season, I wasn’t really expecting to start,” said Toman, who transferred to USM in 2019 after playing one season at the University of New England. “It was a kind of a surprise to me, as well as some other people. But I kind of just come into practice every day, (bring) high energy, always clapping on the sidelines, supporting my teammates, trying to pick them up if I see them down. I’m kind of just a role player. Yeah, I’ve had some games where I’ve scored a little more. Some games I don’t score as much. I try to focus on defense more than anything, though. When you get stops, you get scores.”

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Gardiner graduate Mary Toman (shooting) has been a starter and scoring leader for the University of Southern Maine women’s basketball team this season. Photo courtesy of University of Southern Maine athletics

Toman said she’s just happy to be playing her senior season, as it wasn’t a guarantee that the Huskies would be able to compete.

“To put it simply, it’s pretty awesome,” Toman said. “I think a lot of us, myself included, were questioning if we were actually going to have a season. It kind of felt like (the decision) was being dragged out. They weren’t really giving us a solid answer if we could play or not. Finally being able to set foot on the court again is really nice.”

 

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Former Brunswick standout Madeline Suhr is happy to be on the court court, considering how the pandemic has altered sports.

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Suhr and the University of Maine at Augusta women’s basketball team have been played five games against other schools across the state.

The Moose opened their season Feb. 20, in their first real taste of 5-on-5 competition in just over a year.

“With a small roster and busy class schedules that limited practice, these games were the first time our team was seeing 10 players on the court,” said Suhr, who also coaches the Brunswick freshman team. “I think that is what impacted our team the most, not being able to practice at the pace of 5-on-5.”

The Moose (0-5) have played two games each with Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and the University of Maine-Fort Kent. They opened the season against the University of Maine-Presque Isle.

“When I look back on this season, I feel so grateful for all of UMA’s dedicated athletes, coaches, and administration that made this season possible,” added Suhr. “It meant a lot to our team to get back onto the court.”

Suhr, who started four games, averaged 10 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

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The Times Record sports writer Eli Canfield contributed to this report.

 

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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