ORONO, Maine — University of Maine women’s basketball coach Richard Barron will be the moderator for the first Black Bears Sportsmanship Academy.
The session will be held at 3:45 p.m. Saturday in the Alfond Family Lounge on the UMaine campus. It is slated between games of the basketball doubleheader between UMaine and Binghamton at Alfond Arena.
The men’s game tips off at 2 p.m.
Barron will talk to a group of area youngsters about good sportsmanship and UMaine student-athletes will direct activities that promote good sportsmanship. Participants also will have the chance to make posters and have their faces painted for the women’s game at 4:30 p.m.
The event is open to children from kindergarten through eighth grade. Those who attend either of the basketball games are admitted free.
The Black Bears Sportsmanship Academy is part of the America East Conference S.T.A.R.S. — Student-Athletes Advancing Respect through Sports — program. It was developed as a way for athletes to interact with youngsters to help them gain a sense of sportsmanship.
For information, contact Brandi Rideout at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 207-581-1828.
Coach Steve Trimper and members of the UMaine baseball team will be in Portland on Thursday to announce the Black Bears will be playing a game in 2012 at Hadlock Field.
The announcement will be made at 2 p.m. in the Portland Room at Hadlock Field in conjunction with the Portland Sea Dogs, the Class AA Eastern League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
UMaine has expanded its schedule of nonleague, midweek games for next season. It will include a May 15 contest (6 p.m.) against Boston College of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The game will provide fans in Greater Portland with the opportunity to watch the state’s only Division I baseball program. Last season, the Black Bears won the America East Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Chapel Hill (N.C.) Regional, where it won a game.
UMaine also will play midweek games in 2012 against the University of Massachusetts and Brown University.
“We have seven or eight midweek games, which is the most we’ve ever had,” Trimper said. “It’s supertough to get people to come up here [to Orono], especially after the year we had last year.”
The UMaine roster includes Sam Balzano of Portland, Scott Heath of Westbrook and Robbie Trask and Steve Trask, both of Saco.
The Black Bears begin full-squad practices Friday in preparation for their Feb. 24 season opener at Clemson.