VAN BUREN, Maine — Parise Rossignol, who is just finishing her sophomore year at Van Buren High School, has verbally committed to join the University of Maine women’s basketball team in the fall of 2014.
Rossignol, a two-time selection to the Bangor Daily News All-Maine schoolgirl basketball team, said Tuesday that she was excited to make the commitment.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” said Rossignol, who has scored 1,205 points in her first two years with the Crusaders.
“It’s always where I wanted to go,” she said noting her family’s connection to UMaine.
Her father, Matt, starred for the men’s basketball team from 1985 to ’89 and her brother Derrick is a student there.
“Maine’s been recruiting her since her freshman year,” said Matt Rossignol, who is also her coach. “They’ve seen her a few times.
“They saw not just the ability she has now, but her potential to get better.”
Parise Rossignol, who was a third-team BDN All-Maine pick in 2011 and a second-teamer this year, improved her strength and stamina between her freshman and sophomore years, but she knows she needs to do more.
“I probably need to get a little bit stronger,” she said.
“She needs to work on her quickness and explosion,” Matt Rossignol said.
Matt Rossignol said he didn’t have to put any pressure on his daughter to play college basketball.
“I told her, ‘If you don’t want to play basketball, you don’t have to,’” he said said. “I want her to get a good education.”
Rossignol, a 5-foot-7-inch guard, averaged 29.7 points a game this year in leading Van Buren to the Eastern Maine Class D girls tourney semifinals in February. She also averaged 8.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game, also team highs.
The Crusaders needed Parise Rossignol to provide a big part of their scoring, but she said she is willing to help on other tasks for UMaine.
“When I play against better players, you see more parts of my game,” she said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win, whatever role they need me to play.”
Matt Rossignol on Wednesday noted that his daughter has been offered a four-year scholarship by UMaine but can’t officially accept it until signing a formal National Letter of Intent during her senior year.
Before Parise Rossignol made her choice, her father pointed out the challenge she would be facing.
“It’s a year-round commitment,” he said. “It’s not just a December-to-February kind of thing. Anybody who thinks it’s a free ride has never been through it. The physical demands will be difficult.”
Matt Rossignol isn’t worried.
“I think she’ll be able to handle it,” he said.
Parise Rossignol said she’s going to a basketball camp at UMaine at the end of June and she will be visiting campus in the next week or so.
“I’ll meet the staff, get to know them better,” she said.
Coach Richard Barron and his staff are not allowed to comment on any recruit until after a player signs the National Letter of Intent, which contractually commits the player to that school and vice versa. There is an early signing period, typically a week in early November, and the regular signing period starts around mid-April.
Parise Rossignol doesn’t have an issue with having to wait to sign the letter of intent.
“There’s no chance of me changing my mind,” she said.
The eligibility of any student-athlete is contingent upon admission to the University of Maine and compliance with all NCAA rules, including registration with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Rossignol had not yet been given a scholarship offer. Matt Rossignol said Wednesday that a four-year athletic scholarship has been offered but it’s not official until the formal, binding National Letter of Intent is signed.