Former University of Maine women’s basketball teammates Maddy McVicar and Chantel Charles will square off in the Women’s British Basketball League final on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Calais native McVicar is playing for Newcastle Eagles while Charles is donning the colors of her hometown London Lions.
Each is in her first season with their respective teams.
McVicar and Charles were teammates at UMaine during the 2015-16 season when McVicar was a freshman and Charles was a senior.
“It’s really exciting to make it to the championship, and even more so to be playing against another Black Bear,” McVicar said. “It’s been nice to be able to catch up with Chantel off the court, as she still carries the same infectious personality. As excited as I am to play against her on Sunday, I’d much rather have her on my team and wish her luck!”
McVicar is the Eagles’ No. 2 scorer, averaging 16.3 points per game in 20 games. She is also averaging five rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting 33.3 percent from the 3-point arc.
Charles has posted 8.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals per contest while shooting 42.6 percent from the floor. She has played in 13 games.
Charles was unable to play for the Great Britain National Team leading up to the Women’s 2021 EuroBasket qualifiers after testing positive for COVID-19.
“It’s been a tough season with the COVID-19 situation, but I’m excited with all that has happened that the season has been able to continue and we have it this far,” Charles said. “It’s quite cool that I’m playing against Maddy in this championship game.”
Newcastle finished tied for seventh during the regular season in the 11-team league with a 7-13 record but upset second seed Leicester which was 18-2 during the regular season — 79-73 in the quarterfinals and then beat top seed Sevenoaks (19-1) in the semis 79-72.
McVicar contributed 13 points, 19 rebounds and four assists against Leicester and 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists against Sevenoaks.
Third-seeded London was 16-4 and ousted No. 6 Essex 92-65 in the quarters and No. 4 Nottingham 77-68 in the semis. Charles, who signed a two-year contract with London in November after playing in Spain for two seasons, posted 18 points, nine rebounds and two assists against Essex and eight points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals against Nottingham.
“We were once teammates in college and now both are fighting for the championship,” Charles said. “Knowing that [McVicar] was playing in the league made me happy as I saw her grow as a player while catching a few Black Bear games over the seasons. I knew she would make a mark in the league.”
Sunday’s WBBL final can be seen live on Sky Sports YouTube.