Parise Rossignol, who became the state’s second-leading all-time career scorer with 2,589 points at Van Buren High School, has decided to rejoin the University of Maine’s women’s basketball program after leaving it a year ago.
The 5-foot-8 guard, who saw limited playing time while appearing in 33 games for the Black Bears during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Rossignol averaged just 4.3 minutes of playing time over 14 games during the 2015-16 season after logging 3.5 minutes in 19 games as a freshman.
So she decided to leave the program in the summer of 2016 because she wasn’t enjoying the game as much as she could have been.
“Everything happens for a reason,” said Rossignol on Tuesday night. “At that point, I wasn’t having as much fun as I should have been.
“But this is definitely a new page and I’m really excited about it,” she added.
Rossignol had been playing recreation league basketball at the school and thought that would fill the void.
But it didn’t.
“It’s different when you’re playing for a team. It’s such a different atmosphere. It’s a whole different level of competition. I missed that,” she said.
Rossignol had mentioned her desire to play college basketball again when she had an informal chat with interim head coach Amy Vachon, who took over when head coach Richard Barron went on medical leave on Jan. 6. She will continue to guide the team throughout the 2017-18 season while Barron continues to recover from a debilitating illness.
Rossignol was seeking her release from the program because she intended to to start talking to other schools, which she did.
Vachon contacted Rossignol after the season and asked her if she would be interested in returning to the program.
The Black Bears had five players decide to transfer after the season, including two guards, and they will also lose three-time America East first team guard Sigi Koizar to graduation.
“She laid it out for me and said she would welcome me back with open arms,” said Rossignol. “I never thought this would have been an option for me.”
Rossignol, who had forfeited her scholarship when she left the program, will regain her scholarship.
“I am so lucky to have this opportunity and I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m going to work real hard over the summer. I’m going to get in the best shape of my life. I know the results will come,” she said.
She said the coaching change had nothing to do with her decision to return.
Rossignol said she has had the opportunity to play some pickup basketball with her future teammates and said she feels very comfortable with them.
UMaine does have two guards coming into the program this coming season in Israeli point guard Dor Saar and shooting guard Kelly Fogarty from Walpole, Massachusetts.
Vachon said in a news release that she is thrilled to have Rossignol back into the fold.
“We are very excited to welcome back Parise to our team,” Vachon said. “During her two years with us, she exemplified everything we look for in a student-athlete. She needed time away to realize how much she missed this great game and playing for a university she loves so much. Our entire coaching staff and players welcome back Parise with open arms and we are excited to see her play again.”
Rossignol was the top scorer in the state during all four years of her high school career at Van Buren. She averaged 30.6 points per game, 9 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 2.3 steals as a senior.
She was also the fastest player in state history — male or female — to accumulate 1,000 points, and her 2,589 career points are second only to former Lawrence High of Fairfield and UMaine star Cindy Blodgett (2,596).
She was a four-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine Schoolgirl Basketball team selection including a first-teamer her senior year.
Rossignol’s father, Matt, the girls basketball coach at Van Buren, scored 1,297 career points at UMaine from 1985-89 after a legendary high school playing career for Van Buren.