The University of Maine women’s basketball team is in the middle of its trip to Greece. Next season, they’ll also be making a visit to Florida.
The Black Bears are among five 2019 NCAA tournament teams and six 20-win squads that will participate in the Gulf Coast Showcase at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida.
It is the program’s second appearance in the event, having played in the tournament in 2015.
America East champion UMaine is among four league winners in the event, which will be played Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at Hertz Arena. The field includes Sweet 16 entry Arizona State and Round of 32 participant Oregon State, along with NCAA tourney entries Auburn, Drake and Gonzaga.
Other competitors include Middle Tennessee, Dayton and Purdue, which is coached by former Black Bears boss Sharon Versyp.
“The fact that five teams in the women’s field has played here before tells you what college basketball thinks of the Gulf Coast Showcase,” women’s tournament director and ESPN analyst Debbie Antonelli said in a release.
“We set out to create the best women’s tournament in the country, and once again, this eight-team field highlights the best the sport has to offer,” she added.
For the fifth consecutive year, the tournament will benefit the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Husson lands Floridian
The Husson University women’s basketball team has landed its second Florida recruit for its 2019 recruiting class.
Truly Le, a guard at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, has committed to play for coach Kissy Walker’s program starting next fall.
The 5-foot-3 Le is a four-year varsity letter winner and a two-year starter who averaged more than eight points and three assists on her way to all-tournament honors last season.
Her high school head coach Anthony Jones has nothing but kind words to add on about Le.
“Truly is the epitome of persistence. She’s come a long way since her freshman year, steadily improving her speed, her release, as well as her shooting touch and that commitment carried over into every day of practice, Jones said.
“She’s the most improved player over the last few years and that commands respect because it shows everyone around you that the team is your priority and if you look at the team’s improvement over that same time period, you’ll see there’s no coincidence that her best season we had the most victories since 2014.”
Le, who recently was named the Female Athlete of the Year in her high school of more than 3,700 students, plans to study Business at Husson.