Lexi Mittelstadt, a 5-foot-7 point guard from Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, has committed verbally to attend the University of Maine, according to a post on her Blue Wave AAU team’s website.
She will be a recruited walk-on who can earn a scholarship through her play.
Mittelstadt, who plays soccer and lacrosse at Mt. Blue in addition to basketball, was a junior this past season so she won’t don a Black Bear uniform until the fall 2020 semester.
“I’m very excited,” the 17-year-old Mittelstadt said. “When I visited in the fall, I really connected with the coaches, and I liked the team and the atmosphere. That’s what drew me in.”
Mittelstadt, who was named a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference North first-team all-star last winter, knows it will be a big jump but is ready for the challenge.
“Division I is totally different from Class A high school basketball in Maine. I’ve got to keep going to the gym and training. I’ve got to get bigger, stronger and faster before I go up to Maine,” she said. “Luckily, AAU is helping me get started on that.”
Mittelstadt averaged 19.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game last winter for Mt. Blue, which finished finished ninth in the Class A North Heal points with a 7-11 record. The Cougars missed the tournament by one spot.
She was a Bangor Daily News All-Maine honorable mention selection.
Skowhegan coach Mike LeBlanc said Mittelstadt faces a learning process at UMaine but he feels she will contribute to the program.
“She can create for herself, which makes her dangerous,” LeBlanc said. “That’s something a lot of kids can’t do. She’s quick off the dribble and is hard-nosed. She likes to take the ball to the basket, and she got more people involved this past season, which definitely helped her game. She sees the floor well.
“She’s a very hard worker. She’s going to listen and [UMaine head coach Amy Vachon] will get the most out of her.”
Hampden Academy coach Nick Winchester said Mittelstadt reminds him of 2019 Miss Maine Basketball Anna DeWolfe, a first-team Bangor Daily News All-Maine guard from Greely of Cumberland Center who will play at Division I Fordham beginning this fall.
“She does a lot of different things for her team [like DeWolfe], and she is an underrated defender. She’s very athletic,” Winchester said.
Messalonskee of Oakland head coach Keith Derosby called Mittelstadt a “tremendous scorer.”
“She’s a really good one-on-one scorer. She is an elite player,” he said. “She can shoot off the dribble. She can catch and shoot. She’s one of the most versatile scorers in our league — maybe even statewide.”
The coaches said Mittelstadt will be a valuable teammate.
“She’s the primary player on her team so everything is on her shoulders, but she still plays with joy. That says a lot about her as a basketball player and the type of person she is,” Winchester said.
Mittelstadt is believed to be the first Mt. Blue player set to come to Orono since UMaine Sports Hall of Famer Heather Ernest from 2000 to 2004, Ernest is the school’s fifth-leading all-time scorer (1,804 points) and third-leading rebounder (1.040).
Mittelstadt’s coming to UMaine is dependent upon her being accepted into the school and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.