BANGOR, Maine – Husson University athletics would like to take the month of April to honor all seniors and 2020 graduates who would have been honored at the annual Senior Banquet.
To the seniors whose 2020 seasons were abruptly cut short in the wake of the coronavirus:
This is not the exit from collegiate women's basketball that you envisioned nor deserve. Although this was an unsatisfying end, we hope you take comfort in the memories made and goals accomplished in seasons past. We know you will step forth and make the world better in an unprecedented time that can really use your strength, knowledge, and spirit.
Husson women's basketball will be honoring four seniors this year. All four Eagles have had the opportunity to spend the last three seasons wearing Green and Gold together, while some have been an Eagle for the past five years. Head coach Kissy Walker has a few words she would like to share in honor of her seniors:
"#32 Sami Ireland is our senior tri-captain from Howland, Maine. Sami has been a three-year starter for the Eagles and has helped the program compile a record to date of 75 wins and 31 losses. She's scored 813 points, and gathered 485 rebounds all while missing half a season last year with a knee injury.
She is 9th in career rankings for blocked shots with a total 88, and she dished out 93 assists and 73 steals. She finished her career with a 42.9 field goal percentage.
When you think of Sami, you can't help but smile, she is sweet, happy-go-lucky, caring, resilient, a great story teller, and funny. She is the team makeup artist and English professor. Sami has made a tremendous impact on our program leading us to four NAC Championships and four NCAA appearances.
Sami is currently student teaching in secondary English and will graduate in May with her degree in Education."
"#4 Joan Overman is a fifth-year senior tri-captain from Washburn, Maine. She came to us after winning four Class D State Championships. Joan has been a two-sport athlete also competing on the women's soccer team. Due to a knee injury, she missed a season of basketball and is currently in her fifth year working on her master's degree in General/Corporate Administration.
This fierce competitor has played in 110 games, scoring 558 points, collecting more than 461 rebounds, 160 assists, and 161 steals. She led the NAC this past season for most steals with 38 in conference matchups.
Joan is probably the most athletic player that we have had in my 29 years. She is quick, and can jump over anyone. She is tenacious on defense, no one on our own team wants Joan guarding them. We named one of our rebounding drills after her, "the Joanne drill". Joan typically draws our opponent's top offensive player to defend. She is a player you want on the floor and she makes things happen. This year, she is the glue to our team. She has been instrumental in leading us to five NAC Championships and NCAA appearances during her career at Husson.
Joan has been on the Husson Athletic All-Academic team every year, and she currently has a 3.8 GPA, all while playing basketball and working 40 hours a week between 2-3 different jobs. She will graduate in May with an undergraduate degree in Marketing Management and a Master's in General/Corporate Administration."
"#22 tri-captain, Nicole Tapparo, is from Topsfield, Mass. Nicole came to Husson after transferring from Salve Regina University and we were happy to welcome her into our program.
In three years, Nicole has played in 78 games, she has been a utility player for us, starting in several games, but also providing us a needed punch off the bench at times. Every team needs a player like Nicole to be successful. She is the teammate that puts the team first, who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done for the good of the team. Nicole makes things happen on the floor, she comes up with a big rebound, a steal, a basket or takes a charge.
This season, Nicole was selected a captain because she is a compassionate leader with a gentle demeanor. She always takes into consideration how others feel and works to empower them to see the good in every situation. Her kindhearted personality is felt by all. With Nicole wearing #22, we have won four NAC Championships and made four NCAA appearances. She has been named to the Husson Athletics All-Academic Team every year.
Academically, Nicole has had a 4.0 GPA every semester while at Husson University. I have never had a player with such high academic excellence as Nicole. She will graduate in May with a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology and plans to further her education in a PHD program in Clinical Psychology."
"Mickayla Willette is a senior student manager from Embden, Maine where she played at Carrabec High School. Mickayla suited up for the Eagles her first two years before deciding to concentrate on her academics. Due to her strong bond with the team, she offered to help out as a student manager these last two seasons.
Mickayla is a hardworker, an overachiever and very loyal. We are so glad she chose to remain part of our program. Her kindness has been felt throughout the team. She has built some great relationships with her teammates over the years.
Her decision to focus on her academic path has paid off. She will graduate in May with her Nursing degree and she has already landed a job at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical on Grant 6."
Congratulations to the Husson women's basketball 2020 senior class!