Former Van Buren High School star Parise Rossignol, who capped her high school career as the state’s second-leading all-time scorer with 2,589 points, has decided not to continue her basketball career after two seasons at the University of Maine.
“There was a lot that went into my decision but, ultimately, I knew overall, basketball wasn’t making me as happy as I could be,” said Rossignol in an email. “I made a pros and cons list throughout this last season about continuing to play and used that to help make my decision. My faith and relationship with God is my number one priority in life so, throughout the year, I prayed a lot about the decision I was going to make and had lots of people praying for me as well.
However, the 20-year-old Rossignol will remain at UMaine and continue working toward her degree in secondary education.
“Eventually, I just felt peace about getting done and knew it would be best for me,” she added. “Playing didn’t bring me the same joy that it used to. I still had lots of fun times with my teammates but, overall, it did stop being fun which is why I decided to walk away.”
Rossignol said she has relinquished her scholarship.
The 5-foot-8 guard saw limited game action in her time at UMaine as the Black Bears were top-heavy with veterans each season.
She averaged 4.3 minutes per game last season and scored six points with three rebounds and two steals. She appeared in 14 games and shot 3-for-13 from the floor, including 0-for-8 from the 3-point arc.
As a freshman, she appeared in 19 games and averaged 3.5 minutes. Rossignol scored 19 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had two steals. She shot 6-for-19 from the floor (3-for-12 on 3-pointers) and was 4-for-7 from the free-throw line.
“Parise was a model player. She did everything we asked of her,” said UMaine women’s basketball coach Richard Barron. “She was a great student and a great teammate. She gave us her best effort every single day. She did a great job.”
He wouldn’t specify a reason for her lack of playing time.
“She was good enough to play for us. We gave her a scholarship to play for us,” said Barron. “There will never be equal playing time. You’re never going to have 15 players who are going to all play the same minutes.
“She worked really hard in her two years. I’m happy she’s remaining here as a student. She will get to pursue other things she’s passionate about,” said Barron.
Rossignol admitted her lack of playing time was frustrating.
“At times, it was hard because it’s something I certainly wasn’t used to. But it’s hard to complain when you’re playing on a championship level team. Although I feel I could have contributed, I had some very talented teammates playing ahead of me and they had lots of experience playing at that level. So while it did get frustrating at times, I was happy to be part of a team that was winning as much as we were,” she said.
Maine went 26-9 this season and earned its second straight appearance in the Women’s NIT after losing to Albany 59-58 in the championship game. They went 23-9 the previous season and reached the conference semifinals.
Maine went 29-3 in conference regular-season games the past two seasons.
UMaine graduated eight players off this past year’s team, including six of the seven who averaged at least 16.7 minutes per game. Junior guard Sigi Koizar, an All-America East first team selection, will be the only returnee who played significant minutes.
“With eight seniors leaving, I did feel I had a good opportunity to play more. But even taking that into consideration, I still felt leaving is what was going to make me happiest,” she said.
Barron is bringing in seven freshmen and he will also gain the services of Tanesha Sutton, who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. Sutton transferred from Duquesne.
Rossignol said she “loved every single teammate I had” and said they are like family to her which “made it a positive experience.”
She said she is thankful to the coaching staff for giving her the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing at Maine and that she loves going to school there. Her plan is to finish her education at Maine.
Rossignol said she didn’t consider transferring but she doesn’t rule out playing again someday.
“I love the game of basketball and, after this year, if I really miss it, who knows what could happen? Right now, I can’t say that I’ll never play anywhere else because I do have two years of eligibility remaining. I guess time will tell.”
Rossignol led the state in scoring all four years and was the fastest Maine athlete, boy or girl, to reach 1,000 points. She was a Miss Maine Basketball finalist and a four-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine Schoolgirl Basketball Team selection.
She was a BDN All-Maine first-team choice her senior year when she averaged 30.6 points, nine rebounds, 5.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game. Rossignol led Van Buren in scoring in all 87 career games.
She also set the school record for goals in soccer with 116 and was the top-seeded player on her Eastern Maine championship tennis team.
Her father, Matt, played basketball at UMaine from 1985-89 and scored 1,297 points, which places him 11th on the program’s career list.