Bangor High School multi-sport star Mary Butler said there were several reasons behind her decision to verbally commit to attend Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island beginning in the fall of 2015.
Butler will play for head coach Sarah Behn, who was recently named to replace the retired Jean Burr.
“I’m really excited. What sold me on Brown was the balance between academics and athletics. And coach Behn and her staff were very welcoming. I felt at home,” said the 6-foot-1 Butler, a BDN Third Team All-State selection two years ago and an honorable mention this past season.
Butler averaged 13.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists. 2 steals and two blocked shots two years ago as she led Bangor to a 17-5 record and its first Eastern Maine Class A championship since 1982.
She averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds this past season and even saw some duty at the point guard spot for the 6-12 Rams.
Butler attended a three-day basketball camp at Brown and also got to meet some of her future teammates, who were working at the camps.
“After spending a few days there, I knew it was the right place for me,” said Butler. “I was ready to commit. I fell in love with the school and the people there.”
She also said she loved the city and pointed out that her mother, Angela, used to work in Providence and knew her way around the city.
“And I have an aunt who lives in Andover, Mass., and is only 45 minutes away,” noted Butler.
Butler was recruited by several schools, including the University of Maine and several Patriot League schools.
She could have received athletic scholarship money at another school but she can’t at Brown because Ivy League schools don’t offer athletic scholarships.
“It would have been nice [to get an athletic scholarship] but, at the same time, going to a school like Brown will definitely pay off in the future,” said Butler who plans to study environmental science and would eventually like to go into environmental law.
Brown went 10-18 last season.
Brown features an open curriculum in which students are allowed the flexibility of taking courses that apply to their major and that they find interesting.
“I love the open curriculum,” said Butler who was also enticed by Behn’s up-tempo style of play she intends to utilize. Behn was the head coach at UMass Lowell this past season.
Butler was told that she will be used as a small or power forward
The 17-year-old is also an outstanding soccer player who has helped Bangor capture three straight Eastern Maine Class A titles and one state title. She is a striker.
Joe Johnson, the Bangor girls soccer coach who will also be the first-year girls basketball coach at Bangor this coming season, said Butler is a “Division I talent.”
He is coaching her summer league basketball team.
“She is very athletic. She does a lot. She can post up but they also used her at point guard last season,” said Johnson. “She’s versatile. She is one of the most coachable players I have ever had. She soaks everything up. She is very competitive and works very hard.”
And former Bangor coach Katie Herbine called her a “great passer.”
In addition to her athletic prowess, she is also an exceptional student who was an award-winner at the Maine State Science and Engineering Fair in 2013.
Her project and presentation, “Nanofibrillated Cellulose As the Potential Component of a Low-cost Filtration System,” won first place in the Energy, Transportation and Environmental Science category and it was also chosen best in show.
She is looking forward to her senior season in both soccer and basketball at Bangor High and knows what she needs to work on in preparation for Brown.
“I definitely have to work on my shooting range and I also want to work on my defense. I need to get stronger, bigger and faster,” said Butler.