April 01, 2020
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Husson two-sport standout has balanced athletic, academic and busy work schedules

Courtesy of Monty Rand
Courtesy of Monty Rand
Husson University's Joan Overman guards the University of Maine-Farmington's Alex Bessey during a recent game at Newman Gym in Bangor.

Joan Overman works 40-plus hours a week as a physical therapy aide at County Physical Therapy in Bangor. She also fits in a shift once in a while at Journeys, a casual clothing and shoe store at the Bangor Mall where she used to work 20 hours a week as a salesperson-manager.

Overman is also finishing up her master’s degree in business administration at Husson University in Bangor.

On top of all of that, she’s also a strong contributor to the Husson Eagles basketball team and was nominated for the North Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year award by Husson coach Kissy Walker.

Despite this hectic schedule, Overman is logging a 3.8 grade point average.

The 22-year-old Overman, a Washburn native, has compiled an impressive career on and off the court at Husson.

In addition to playing four years of basketball for the Eagles, she also played three years of soccer.

Courtesy of Monty Rand Photography
Courtesy of Monty Rand Photography
Husson University's Joan Overman puts up a shot over the University of Maine-Farmington's McKenna Brodeur during a recent game at Newman Gym in Bangor.

She tore her anterior cruciate ligament playing soccer her sophomore year, which ended her soccer and basketball seasons. While rehabilitating her knee and going to school, she became involved with the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Painting Company, which gives college students an internship opportunity to run a business.

While operating the house painting business, Overman was responsible for everything including hiring and firing, project management, and payroll.

“I learned a lot about myself. I did a lot of cool things,” Overman said.

Kenzie Worcester, an assistant coach at Husson, praised Overman’s work ethic.

Worcester was Overman’s teammate on four Class D state championship girls basketball teams at Washburn High School and four North Atlantic Conference Tournament title teams at Husson.

“She is really disciplined, and she has always been tough mentally. She knows what needs to be done to be successful, and she always manages to get it done,” Worcester said.

“I try to manage my time as efficiently as possible,” Overman said. “Staying up on my schoolwork hasn’t always been easy. I don’t have much free time.”

She takes all but one of her graduate school classes online.

“It has been pretty challenging, mentally and physically,” Overman said. “Some days I’m drained. But my teammates lift me up. They motivate me to get through the day and move on to the next.”

Courtesy of Monty J. Rand
Courtesy of Monty J. Rand
Husson University's Joan Overman controls the ball during a game at the school's field in Bangor in 2018.

The independent Overman has had to work to pay for her education.

“There was no other option. I don’t mind it. It taught me a lot about myself. I hold myself accountable. Nothing comes easy, but hopefully things will get a little bit easier,” she said.

Overman has never been a prolific scorer but does everything else at a high level including guarding the opposing team’s leading scorer.

A tri-captain, she currently leads the team in steals [2.3 per game] and in assist-to-turnover margin (2.2), and is second in rebounding [5.3] and third in assists (2.1). She also averages 5.9 points per game.

“She is special,” said Walker, who is in her 29th year as the head coach at Husson. “She is one of the most athletic kids I have ever coached. She can jump out of the sky. She has become the glue of this team. You teach kids to play defense the way she does.”

Walker also said Overman has been able to “hit that open shot pretty consistently this year, which has pulled us through some games.”

“She tips an unbelievable amount of passes,” Worcester said. “She does all the little things, and she’s smart, too. And super gritty. She’s the most athletic player I’ve ever played with.”

“She is the athlete you always want on your team and someone you would always want to coach,” Husson senior forward Sami Ireland said. “She can do everything.”

Overman said she has developed more confidence in her shooting and has been shooting the ball more.

She also likes the challenge of guarding the other team’s best scorer.

“It gives me some comfort in a way because I know what I can do [defensively]. As long as I am responsible for [the leading scorer], I know the rest of the team can take care of the other people.

“But it is hard for me on the offensive side because I’m right up in the face of their best player,” she said.

Overman has worked at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course the past two summers, starting as a picker on the driving range before moving into the pro shop and being involved with the merchandising of golf apparel and footwear.

“She works incredibly hard, and it is a pleasure to have her with us. She’s one of those people who doesn’t just punch the time clock. She wants to make a difference,” Bangor Muni pro Rob Jarvis said.

Overman implemented some simple yet effective merchandising ideas that yielded great results for the golf course, Jarvis said.

“She needs 26 hours in a day and we only have 24,” said Jarvis, who also called her a “natural-born leader.”

Overman appeared in 34 career soccer games as a striker-midfielder, and notched seven goals and two assists. But she decided to concentrate this season on basketball, her favorite sport, and not risk getting injured playing soccer.

The top-seeded Eagles will entertain No. 5 Northern Vermont-Lyndon in a 5:30 p.m. NAC semifinal on Friday with No. 2 Maine Maritime Academy playing No. 3 UMaine-Farmington in the other semifinal at 7:30 p.m. The winners meet on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Overman has been “pretty happy” with her career and wants to add another championship to her resume this weekend.

“I can’t say enough about the memories I’ve made and the championships I’ve won in high school and college. Not a lot of people get to experience even one,” Overman said.

 

Correction: A previous version of this report listed the incorrect organization with which Joan Overman worked.

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