August 20, 2019
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Former UMaine basketball players land at higher-level programs

Two more of the five players who transferred from the University of Maine women’s basketball program have landed at schools in more prominent leagues than America East.

Six-foot Spanish forward Naira Caceres has headed to play for Butler University in Indiana and 6-2 Croatian forward Tihana Stojsavljevic will attend Texas Tech.

Butler plays in the Big East while Texas Tech is a member of the Big 12.

Both were freshmen at UMaine last season and must sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules. They will each have three years of eligibility remaining.

Spanish forward Laia Sole, a freshman last season, announced earlier that she was transferring to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh where she will join her older sister Judith, who is a member of the basketball team.

Caceres, who played for the Spanish Under 18 National team, played in all 34 games for the Black Bears, averaging 19.4 minutes. She averaged 3.1 points and 3.7 rebounds. Her playing time dwindled later in the season primarily because she was turnover-prone. Her 55 turnovers were fourth most on the team.

She joins a Butler program coming off a 6-25 season, 2-16 in the Big East. Butler was 10-21 (4-14) two years ago and has had four straight losing seasons.

In a Butler press release, head coach Kurt Godlevske said, “I’m not sure I’ve met as talented of a young lady who is so humble and appreciative.

“She has the ability to create matchup issues. She can post up smaller defenders, drive past slower defenders and she also has deep range,” she added.

Caceres said in the release that she chose Butler, “because I really love their basketball style and family atmosphere between the coaches and the players. The talent level of the Big East Conference is very high and competing against good teams will help me grow as a player.”

Stojsavljevic had trouble cracking the UMaine lineup. She appeared in 19 games and averaged 4.9 minutes.

“She has great ambition and vision for her education and life after basketball,” said Texas Tech head coach Candi Whitaker in a press release. “On the court, she is a tremendously skilled player with good speed and length. Her versatility will be useful in creating mismatches.”

Texas Tech went 14-17 last season, 5-13 in the Big 12. Texas Tech was 13-18 two years ago, 4-15 in conference play. The Red Raiders have had four consecutive losing campaigns.

 



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