Skowhegans Jaycie Christopher twirls the net in celebration after the River Hawks beat Greely to win the Class A girls basketball state championship game on March 5 at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

SKOWHEGAN — After a brief time out of the state, one of central Maine’s most decorated athletes is looking to play basketball at the state’s flagship school.

Recent Skowhegan graduate Jaycie Christopher said Monday she plans to play basketball at the University of Maine this season, a little more than eight months after she signed her National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play at Boston University on a full athletic scholarship.  

Christopher made history this season with the River Hawks when she became the first student-athlete in state history to win Miss Maine Basketball and Miss Maine Softball awards, given annually to the top senior players in their respective sports. She was also selected as the Varsity Maine Female Athlete of the Year

Christopher had enrolled at BU and had begun summer workouts there earlier this month.

“I came to the decision (July 13), ” Christopher said. “I’m back home now, and I’ve already gone through the admissions process at UMaine and been accepted. I just have to wait for BU to release me from my NLI (National Letter of Intent), which will hopefully be by early August.”

An NLI is a binding agreement between a school and a student-athlete. According to the NLI program, upon signing letters of intent, student-athletes agree to attend the school for one academic year in exchange for financial aid. In order to sign with another school, a student-athlete must be released from a current NLI. Schools, however, are not required to grant a release.


The 6-foot-1 Christopher declined to elaborate on why she chose to leave BU, saying she wanted to wait until she officially enrolled at UMaine.

Skowhegan’s Jaycie Christopher, left, puts on her cap during the announcement of the Miss Maine Softball award on June 21 at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

As a senior, Christopher had a remarkable year on the basketball court as she led Skowhegan to a 22-0 season and a state title in Class A. She averaged 22.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 3.4 steals per game en route to leading the River Hawks to their first girls hoop title in program history.

Following the season, Christopher, who signed her NLI to attend BU in November, was named Maine Gatorade Player of the Year, in addition to her Miss Basketball honor. She finished her high school career with 1,561 points, the most of any Skowhegan girls or boys basketball player.

At UMaine, Christopher joins a program that has made five consecutive America East Conference championship games and earned NCAA Tournament berths in 2018 and 2019. She will be the third Maine high school player on the roster, joining junior Lexi Mittelstadt (Mt. Blue) and fellow incoming freshman Sarah Talon (Windham).

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