Oxford Hills of South Paris point guard Julia Colby, a first-team Bangor Daily News All-Maine selection last winter, has verbally accepted a scholarship offer to attend and play basketball at the New York Institute of Technology beginning in the fall of 2020.
NYIT, located in Old Westbury, New York, won the East Coast Conference tournament championship and earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament before falling to Philadelphia’s University of Sciences in the first round.
The Bears finished with a 23-9 record after making their second NCAA tourney appearance in head coach Kenny Parham’s three seasons.
Colby, a rising senior at Oxford Hills, led the Vikings to their first state championship earlier this year as she set a Class AA state-final record with 34 points in their 55-45 victory over Scarborough.
She also set records for most free throws (12) and field goals (10) in a Class AA state championship game.
The 5-foot-5 Colby averaged 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4 steals and 3.2 assists per game for the 20-2 Vikings.
Colby cited several reasons for her decision.
“I wanted to play basketball and find a school with a good nursing program and they have a very good one,” she said. “They have five players who are in the nursing program.
“The coach is really nice and I made a good connection with him,” Colby added. “And I really liked the campus.”
Colby said it is nice to have the pressure of the recruiting process behind her, as she would love to win another state title at Oxford Hills.
“I’ve been working with a trainer [to improve her strength] and I’ve been working a lot on my shooting,” said Colby, who plays field hockey in the fall for the Vikings.
Oxford Hills head coach Nate Pelletier said NYIT is a “perfect fit” for Colby.
“She is definitely a point guard and she will definitely be a point guard at that level,” Pelletier said. “Her ball-handling skills are better than any player I’ve ever coached, and she is always working on her strength to play at the college level.”
Pelletier said Colby improved steadily during her first three years at Oxford Hills.
“She had all the skills as a freshman, but the thing I’ve really noticed is she has been able to speed everything up,” he said. “She gets her shots off a little quicker, she has extended her jump shots. She can now shoot a pretty deep three on a consistent level.”
One thing Pelletier has tried to do is encourage Colby to do is to shoot more.
“She is such a team player. She’ll pass up shots [to make a pass]. She just wants to win,” he said.
Colby has faced elite competition while playing AAU basketball for the Maine Firecrackers and Pelletier said she has proven she can compete at that level.
“Her confidence is there,” he said.
Colby going to New York Tech is contingent upon her being accepted into the school and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.