Ever since she stepped onto the court for Skowhegan High School as a freshman, Jaycie Christopher’s goal was to win a state championship.
That burning desire along with her tireless work ethic and talent were rewarded with Skowhegan’s first Class A state Gold Ball this past season. She was also recently selected Gatorade Maine Girls Basketball Player of the Year to go with her Miss Maine Basketball award.
The six-foot point guard, who will attend Boston University in the fall, just capped off her remarkable career by averaging 23.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 3.5 steals a game in a 22-0 season for the River Hawks.
She was a 1,000-point scorer and that accomplishment is even more significant considering she came off the bench her freshman season because the River Hawks had five senior starters. She wasn’t able to play a full schedule last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in the cancellation of the basketball tournaments.
Her sophomore year, she was the only returnee with any significant playing time but still managed 23.7 points, 11 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.9 steals per game despite being the primary focus of opposing defensive strategies.
Christopher, who was the only sophomore chosen to the first team of the Bangor Daily News’ All-Maine Schoolgirl Basketball Team, put an exclamation point on her career with 24 points and nine rebounds in a 60-46 win over Greely of Cumberland Center in the state title game.
“She could have scored 28 or 29 points a game, easily. But she just wanted to win a gold ball,” said Skowhegan coach Mike LeBlanc. “She is a wonderful person. I can’t say enough about her leadership. Everyone respects her.”
Hampden Academy coach Nick Winchester, who coached against Christopher, feels Boston University is getting Maine’s best player and one who can score at all three levels — on drives to the hoop, mid-range jump shots and 3-pointers — and he said she could have scored even more than her 1,500-plus points if she wasn’t so unselfish.
“She can really see the floor and her basketball IQ is off the charts and she is a leader,” Winchester said.
Winchester attended the Big Time Hoops All-Star Weekend at the Eastern Maine Sports Academy in Veazie on Saturday night and saw Christopher not only play in an all-star game, but also compete in a 3-point shooting competition in which she hit roughly 20 of 25 shots.
LeBlanc has had to chase her out of the weight room at school because she is the type of athlete who has a tendency to “overwork herself” and Winchester said that desire to improve will serve her well at Boston University.
Christopher explained earlier this year that the reason behind her work ethic is she is “never satisfied” with her game. But before she heads to BU, Christopher will look for a second straight Class A state softball title this spring. She is the shortstop for the River Hawks.