Leyton Bickford of Sanford High School has committed to play basketball at the University of Maine starting in the fall of 2020. Credit: Courtesy photo

Leyton Bickford, a 6-foot-6 senior forward from Sanford High School, has committed to join the University of Maine men’s basketball program beginning next fall, the team has announced.

Bickford, also a standout tight end and defensive end in football for the Spartans, announced his verbal commitment to play basketball at UMaine last spring, then waited before finalizing that decision while he considered several offers to play college football.

Bickford is the fourth-ranked player in his class in Maine, according to New England Recruiting Report, with the three players ranked above him all playing at the prep school level.

Bickford finished second in Class AA South in both scoring (18.1) and rebounds (10.2) per game during the 2019-2020 regular season, when Sanford finished fifth in the division with a 7-11 record.

He also averaged 2.3 assists and 2.1 blocked shots and made 19 3-point goals in 18 games for the Spartans. Sanford was scheduled to play Wednesday night at No. 4 Gorham in a Class AA South quarterfinal.

Bickford is an honors student who is set to enroll at UMaine as a computer engineering major.

“We are very excited to have Leyton join our program,” UMaine coach Richard Barron said. “He is a very good athlete with nice size and offensive versatility. He is also an accomplished student who will fit in well with our team’s culture.”

Bickford said he expects to redshirt with the Black Bears next winter but is looking forward to the opportunity to play Division I basketball for his state university.

“I’m ready to take advantage of this opportunity and show the nation what Maine can do,” he said.

Bickford joins Dutch guard Randell Wiel as announced members joining the UMaine men’s basketball program in the fall. Wiel signed his National Letter of Intent in November.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...