Maddy McVicar, seen here competing for UMaine in a 2020 America East basketball game, will return to the Newcastle Eagles next season. Credit: BDN file

Former University of Maine basketball guard Maddy McVicar, who made her professional debut with the Newcastle Eagles of the Women’s British Basketball League this past season, is returning to the Eagles next season.

Calais native McVicar was Newcastle’s second-leading scorer, averaging 16.3 points per game, and led her team to a berth in the league championship game.

“It was great. I loved it. That’s why I’m going back,” McVicar said. “I had great teammates and great coaches.”

McVicar played in 23 games for the Eagles and led the team in 3-point field goals with 61 while finishing second or third in several other categories. In addition to scoring, she was also second in assists (2.8 apg), minutes played (38 mpg) and 3-point shooting percentage (35.3 percent). She was third in rebounds (5.3 rpg) and steals (1.4 spg).

Alison Gorrell led the team in scoring (23.8 ppg), assists (5.6 apg) and steals (2.3 spg) and tied for first in rebounding (7.8 rpg).

“She is a great player and a great person,” McVicar said.

McVicar was a shooting guard at UMaine but was the point guard for Newcastle this past season. She thinks she will be getting a little more time at the shooting guard position next season.

The Eagles were just 7-13 during the regular season and finished tied for seventh in the 11-team league.

They came alive in the playoffs, upsetting the second-seeded Leicester Riders 79-73 in the quarterfinals and top seed Sevenoaks 79-72 in the semifinals before losing to No. 3 London 93-71 in the championship game.

Her former UMaine teammate, Chantel Charles, was an important contributor for the London Lions.

She said the talent level was similar to what she experienced playing for UMaine in America East.

“There were a lot of players who were Division I players at one place or another (in the U.S.) or others who had played in professional leagues,” McVicar said.

College basketball is much more popular in the U.S. and gets more exposure.

“They’re trying to develop basketball. But soccer is the big sport,” McVicar said.

They traveled quite a bit across Great Britain but she said she is used to that from her college days and growing up in Maine.

She enjoyed living in Newcastle, where she shared an apartment with three teammates. McVicar attended Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne and is working on her master’s degree in mechanical engineering. She will finish her degree in September.

McVicar, who is working in the Portland area this summer, was happy with her season and hopes next year will be even better.

“I’d like to knock down more shots and take it to the basket more,” McVicar said.

The gritty 5-foot-4 McVicar led an injury-ravaged UMaine team to a berth in the 2019-20 America East championship game when she averaged 10 points and 3.8 rebounds in her first season as a starter. However, the game wasn’t played due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She was a two-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine Schoolgirl Basketball Team selection, earning second team honors when she played at Calais High. She scored 1,411 career points. She averaged 22.4 points, eight assists and seven rebounds her senior year.