WATERVILLE, Maine — Karin Bird finished her collegiate basketball career perched at the top of NCAA Division III basketball.
Bird emerged as the leading scorer in the division during her senior season at Thomas College in Waterville last winter.
The Lee native connected for 24.5 points per game on the way to closing out her college career with 1,550 points. She played in 20 games for the Terriers during 2011-12, missing five because of injury.
Bird’s accomplishment was recognized when Thomas honored her during halftime of its women’s game against Colby-Sawyer on Dec. 7 at Larry Mahaney Gymnasium.
“She requires so much defensive attention, but even when she gets triple-teamed, she finds a way to get to the basket and score,” coach Ted Rioux told the Bangor Daily News last season.
Bird, a graduate of Lee Academy, was a three-time All-North Atlantic Conference first-team pick for the Terriers. She transferred to Thomas after playing her freshman season at Emmanuel College in Boston.
At Thomas, the 5-foot-7 guard/forward poured in 1,351 points in her three seasons, averaging 20.8 points per contest.
She also finished her career as a 77 percent free-throw shooter (511-for-661).
Bird twice scored 36 points in a game, both times in 2010.
During her career at Lee Academy, Bird played multiple sports. She helped propel the Pandas to seven state championships and 12 regional titles in basketball, soccer, softball and cross country.
Colby’s Veillette gains honor
Ryan Veillette of Colby College in Waterville has been named to the D3football.com 2012 All-East Regional Team.
The defensive end from Westfield, Mass., was among nine players from the New England Small College Athletic Conference and the only one from a Maine school to be so recognized.
Veillette, a three-time, All-NESCAC honoree who was a first-team pick this season, was tabbed for the All-East third-team defense.
Veillette led the NESCAC in sacks (7.5) and had 11 tackles for a loss among 30 total. He logged 115 career tackles (26.5 tfl).
UMaine softball plans clinics
Coach Lynn Coutts and the UMaine softball team are holding Skill Development Sundays in January and February.
The Black Bears will conduct clinics for players in grades 5-12 on Jan. 13 and 20 and Feb. 3, 17 and 24.
The events will be divided into five sessions based on grade level. Hitting I (grades 5-7) runs from 11 a.m. to noon along with Pitching II (grades 8-12).
Hitting II (8-12) and Pitching I (5-7) will be conducted from noon to 1 p.m. and Infield/Outfield for all grade levels is scheduled 1-2 p.m.
Players can attend one or all sessions. The costs is $20 for one individual session, $35 for two, $45 for three sessions.
Discounts apply for those who wish to attend three sessions per week for four weeks ($180) or 15 sessions over five weeks ($225).
For information, check out the winter clinic flier on the softball page at GoBlackBears.com.
UMF women’s soccer honored
The women’s soccer team at the University of Maine-Farmington has been recognized as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Academic Award for the first time ever.
The honor is bestowed on teams that earn a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better. The Beavers were among three North Atlantic Conference teams and 511 nationwide in all divisions to receive the award.
Thomas College of Waterville also made the list of teams that excelled in the classroom.
UMF, coached by Molly Wilkie, had an 11-7-1 record (6-2-1 NAC) this fall and reached the league semifinals.
Thomas, led by coach Deb Biche, was 4-11-1 (1-7-1 NAC) this season.