ORONO, Maine — University of Maine men’s basketball coach Ted Woodward on Wednesday announced the signing of Leon Cooper Jr., who will attend the university in the fall and play for the men’s basketball team.

“We are very excited to be able to have Leon join our basketball program,” said Woodward. “He is a tremendous student and athlete who will provide us with versatility and athleticism at the guard position. He can play a variety of positions, both offensively and defensively, and provide our team with extra experience, maturity and leadership. We are thrilled he is going to be a Black Bear.”

Cooper, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound guard from Freeport, Bahamas, comes to UMaine after leading Howard Junior College (Big Spring, Texas) to a 23-8 mark last season and playing for the Bahamas National Team this summer.

Before attending Howard, Cooper attended Utah State during the 2010-11 season and sat out the season as a redshirt. Cooper played his high school ball for Sunrise Christian Academy (Wichita, Kan.), where he led the team to a 26-2 record.

He averaged 18.3 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 steals and 3.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 53.7 percent from the field, 48.6 percent from 3-point range and 79.7 percent at the free throw line while being named all-Conference, all-metro and all-state.

Cooper won high school state championships in football and baseball and holds his school record in the triple jump.

The eligibility of all student-athletes is contingent upon admission to the University of Maine and compliance with all NCAA rules, including registration with the NCAA Clearinghouse.

UM football 21st in TSN poll

The UMaine football team has been ranked No. 21 in The Sports Network Football Championship Subdivision preseason poll.

The Black Bears are coming off a 9-4 season in which they wound up at No. 8 in the polls and had five players receive NFL invitations.

Maine tied for the league high with five players being named to the 2012 Preseason All-CAA Team, including the most on offense with four.

Maine opens play Sept. 8 at Boston College and plays its home opener Sept. 22 against Albany. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 581-BEAR or online by going to www.GoBlackBearstickets.com.

Jamo named USM softball coach

Director of Athletics Al Bean has announced the hiring of Sarah (Bennis) Jamo as the head softball coach at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

Jamo replaces Bonny Brown-Denico, who stepped down this summer after 16 seasons to focus on her responsibilities as USM’s head field hockey coach.

“Sarah has the drive, knowledge, contacts and skill to make an immediate impact on our program’s success and I expect that she will move the program forward quickly,” Bean said.

Jamo, a former standout at Greely High in Cumberland Center, was an outstanding pitcher at the University of Maine. In her first season as the Greely head coach last spring, Jamo’s team posted a 16-3 overall record and reached the Western Maine Class B championship.

Jamo served as the Huskies’ pitching coach in the spring of 2012 on a part-time basis and is the pitching coordinator at The Edge Academy in Portland. She also was a three-year assistant coach at Division II Merrimack College.

“I am very excited for this amazing opportunity. The University of Southern Maine has a great athletic tradition,” said Jamo, who was a two-time (2005, 2006) all-conference first-team selection while at UMaine.

Jamo finished her career with the Black Bears as their all-time leader in strikeouts and wins in a season (2006).