Bryce Lausier, who spearheaded Hampden Academy’s drive to the Class A boys basketball state championship this season, is headed to New Hampshire next season.
The 6-foot-4 guard, who was recently named Mr. Maine Basketball, Maine’s Gatorate Player of the Year and was selected as the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A Player of the Year, has committed to attend St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Lausier will be a scholarship player for the Division II Hawks, who compete in the Northeast 10 Conference. He is expected to sign his National Letter of Intent once the signing period is reinstated sometime after April 15.
“They have a great academic program there that I can pursue and then the basketball program, they’re a top team in Division II,” Lausier said. “They compete [for a championship] every year and I thought I could try and make a difference at that school.”
NLI signings were suspended by the Collegiate Commissioners Association, which administers the program, to comply with an NCAA emergency mandate enacted on March 13 to institute a recruiting dead period because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lausier said he had a great conversation with St. Anselm coach Keith Dickson.
“Coach Dickson’s been around for 34 seasons, so he knows what it takes to win games,” Lausier said. “I really enjoyed the conversation and thought that St. Anselm was a school that I could have success at, so it was honestly an easy decision for me.”
Lausier said he also received a scholarship offer from Franklin Pierce College, another New Hampshire school that competes in the Northeast 10 and was recruited by a handful of New England Small College Athletic Conference programs.
Lausier averaged a KVAC-best 27.7 points per game while leading coach Russ Bartlett’s Broncos to a 21-1 record. He was named the outstanding player-sportsman of the regional tournament after helping Hampden Academy post three come-from-behind victories en route to its second A North title in three years.
Lausier then scored 23 points in the state championship game as Hampden used a 23-1 second-half run to rally past York 65-56 and capture the program’s first gold ball since 2015.
St. Anselm is coming off a 21-8 season during which it won the Northeast 10 championship and earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship.
The Hawks were seeded fourth in the East Regional scheduled in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but the tournament was canceled by the NCAA amid concerns about the coronavirus. St. Anselm ended the campaign on an 11-game winning streak.
Lausier joins a program that loses six seniors to graduation, including five guards.
“Only one was in the rotation,” he explained. “There were only three scholarships available and I just happened to be one of them. I think if I work hard in the offseason and during the season, I could make an impact.”
Like students from across Maine and around the country, Lausier is trying to adapt to taking classes via computer and finding ways to get in some productive physical activity.
“Now it’s sitting around in my house just with my family,” said Lausier, who has found one outlet.
He and good friend Henry Westrich, a standout basketball player at Bangor High School, have been working out together on their own in Glenburn. They visit the home of a friend that is equipped with a full gym in the basement.
“Me and [Henry] go to the gym together. We’ve only gone from our houses to the gym in 2 1/2 weeks now,” Lausier said. “We’ve only been in contact with each other and our families.”
In the meantime, he has been able to keep up with his school work while hoping for an end to the coronavirus threat in time to return to school to finish his senior year.
“I want to have the senior trip and I want to have graduation. Hopefully, we’ll end up having it,” said Lausier, who doesn’t play a spring sport but feels for his fellow Hampden Academy athletes.
“The poor kids that are baseball, track and tennis players, I feel bad for them.”