May 24, 2018
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Junior college transfer Bella Swan joins UMaine women’s basketball team

By Pete Warner, BDN Staff

ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine women’s basketball program has announced that it has received a National Letter of Intent from junior college transfer Isabella (Bella) Swan. Swan transfers to the Black Bears from Salt Lake Community College.

“We are all very excited about Bella joining us,” head coach Richard Barron said in a press release. “She is certainly my type of player — versatile, tough and very energetic. Bella is very long and athletic, can defend any position on the floor, rebounds well, can attack off the dribble and hit shots facing the basket, and she plays very very hard.”

Swan, a 5-foot-11 guard/forward, joins the Black Bears a year after averaging 8.1 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 50.5 percent from the floor to help lead Salt Lake Community College to a 26-8 record and a spot in the second round of the Division I Junior College National Championship in Kansas.

“She is a tough-nosed competitor who has been very well coached and will pick up our offensive and defensive systems quickly,” Barron continued. “Bella also will make a seamless transition mixing in with our team. She immediately connected with our players on her visit.”

Swan, a native of Farmington, Utah, attended Viewmont High School where she averaged 10.6 points her senior year. Swan earned both Most Improved Player and Most Valuable Player awards. She played club basketball with the Utah Fight.

Swan also played soccer and competed in track in high school.

“Our entire program is really excited about our incoming class,” added Barron. “Bella, along with Kirsten, Janessa and Parise make us bigger, more athletic, and deeper than last year. We will have a lot of weapons and different possible lineup combinations. There is a lot to look forward to over the next couple of years!”

The eligibility of all student-athletes is contingent upon admission to the University of Maine and compliance with all NCAA rules, including registration with the NCAA Clearinghouse.

UMPI hoop coach resigns

Assistant athletic director and head men’s basketball coach Jim Casciano has resigned from his position at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

After three seasons at UMPI, Casciano has been hired as the head men’s coach at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, N.C.

“We are obviously disappointed to see Jim go but wish him luck going forward. He coaches an exciting brand of basketball and has generated a lot of momentum recruiting good young players from all over the world,” said UMPI Athletic Director Paul Stone.

The Owls went 22-45 in three seasons under Casciano, who coached Association of Division III Independents 2013 Player of the Year Patrick Manifold and AD3I all-stars Claude Louis and Michael Warner.

UMPI will conduct a national search for Casciano’s successor.

Stewart named to Team Canada

Holly Stewart of the UMaine field hockey team is among 20 players to be named to the Canadian national team.

The junior, who has played for the Canadian junior and senior teams, will compete in a seven-match tournament with England and Wales April 27-May 7.

Stewart of North Vancouver, British Columbia, is listed as one of six forwards on the roster.

In 2013, Stewart competed in Dublin, Ireland, at the 2013 Ireland Tour (June 17-July 3) for the senior women’s team and added the 2013 women’s junior world cup games July 27-Aug. 4, to her already lengthy resume.

Stewart, the 2014 female winner of the M Club Dean Smith Award given to the top student-athlete at UMaine, posted 12 goals and six assists for 30 points last season. She was named to both the America East First Team and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-Northeast Regional Second team in 2013.


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