University of Maine guard Julie Brosseau of Repentigny, Quebec led Team Quebec to a silver medal in basketball during the Jeux de la Francophonie, a competition held every four years for French-speaking countries throughout the world.
The event was held in the Ivory Coast and 53 countries were involved with more than 2,500 athletes competing.
Brosseau, who will be a sophomore at UMaine this fall, was Team Quebec’s top scorer as she averaged 13.5 points per game including 18 in the gold medal game against France.
France beat Team Quebec 73-53.
It was the first time the women’s basketball team from Quebec had ever won a medal at the Jeux de la Francophonie, which is held every four years. This was the eighth Jeux de la Francophonie.
Brosseau was chosen to be the flag bearer for Team Quebec at the closing ceremonies.
“I did pretty well. I was able to score a little bit. Winning a medal was motivating for me. We had never won one. I was really glad we won a medal,” said Brosseau on Tuesday, one day after returning home.
“Our team had real good chemistry,” she added.
Brosseau was a shooting guard for Team Quebec and scored in double figures in five of the six games. She had 17 points in her team’s 68-49 win over Tunisia in the opener, 16 in the 55-45 semifinal victory over Belgium and 14 in the 80-60 quarterfinal triumph over Mali.
Brosseau played in all 34 games her freshman year at UMaine, averaging 6.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. She led the Black Bears in 3-pointers made with 59. The 5-foot-8 Brosseau also dished out 1.3 assists while averaging 19.6 minutes per game.
She was primarily a shooting guard but played some point guard when senior standout Sigi Koizar was injured.
“Playing at UMaine helped me so much. It taught how I need to think on the court and how to be more prepared,” said Brosseau. “NCAA basketball is more athletic and faster than I was used to in Quebec. You can’t make a lot of mistakes. It really helped me become a better player.”
The tournament also served as a cultural experience for Brosseau, who had never been to Africa.
“The whole thing was amazing. I really liked it,” said Brosseau.
She said it was “really warm” and they saw cows and chickens walking in the streets. Women balanced baskets on their heads that carried a variety of items.
“There was also a lot of traffic. It was kind of crazy there,” she said.
The atmosphere at the games was memorable.
“There were a lot of people at the games and they cheered from the warm-ups until the last second of the game. It was awesome,” said Brosseau.
She will return to Orono in a couple of weeks and said she is really looking forward to the coming season.