There is plenty of action in store this weekend for the University of Maine’s basketball teams and their fans.
The Black Bears take center stage Saturday afternoon with an America East doubleheader against Binghamton University at Alfond Arena in Orono.
Coach Ted Woodward’s UMaine men (9-10) get things started when they play a 2 p.m. contest against the Bearcats (0-20).
The women’s squad (5-16), coached by Richard Barron, hits the hardwood at approximately 4:30 against Binghamton (10-11).
The doubleheader will feature America East’s Fandemonium promotion, which gives fans in attendance a chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes. The offerings will include Kindle Fires, an Xbox 360 console, “Beats by Dr. Dre” headphones, a flat-screen TV, iTunes gift cards, tickets to the America East Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship and Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards.
It also will be an opportunity for fans to get a glimpse of the past as the UMaine women’s program has invited back numerous former players to participate in its annual Alumnae Weekend.
A group of 37 former Black Bears whose college careers spanned eight decades is expected to get together to watch Saturday’s game, share old memories and lace up the sneakers at least one more time.
The UMaine women’s alumnae will be honored during halftime of Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. game. The group is a who’s who of Black Bear women’s basketball history.
Among the players expected to be on hand are Rachel Bouchard (Class of 1991), Emily Ellis (1985), Liz Coffin (1988), Jamie Cassidy (2000), Amy Vachon (2000) and Heather Ernest (2004).
The returnees include a few of the early athletes from the UMaine program, including Dorothy Silver Serota (1940), Lillian Silver (1942) and Morna Rawcliff (1948).
Other former players, listed in order of graduating year, who will be in Orono include 1986: Mary “Kissy” Walker, Annie Allen; 1987: Sonya Wedge, Lauree Gott; 1989: Kelly Nobert Lafountain; 1992: Tracey Frenette, Carrie Goodhue Ritchie, Julie Bradstreet; 1996: Catherine Gallant Novio; 1997: Kelly Stubbs; 1999: Kelly Bowman Flagg, Andrea Clark Byther, Chantal Macream, Andrea Pardilla Sockbasin; 2000: Kristen McCormick Marchese; 2001: Anna James Long; 2002: Tracy Guerrette, Jessica Lawson; 2004: Julie Veilleux, Melissa Heon Allen; 2005: Kim Corbitt, Missy Traversi, Nicole Jay, Monica Peterson Taylor; 2007: Ashley Underwood; 2009: Amanda Tewksbury; 2011: Tanna Ross.
Many of the “old-timers” also plan to play in the alumnae game, which is scheduled for Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Memorial Gym. UMaine fans are welcome to watch the game and cheer on some of the best players in program history.