Even though my high school basketball team did not ever make it to the state tournament, I was able to get some interest from college coaches. I had visited five colleges along with my older brother (he was my only sibling of 7 that had gone off to college) before making my decision of where I wanted to go. I narrowed it down to two colleges. The week before packing up to attend the University of Maine on a full scholarship for basketball, I changed my mind. I got nervous I would be too far away from home and wondered if I was good enough to really play there. I remembered what the University of Southern Maine coach Doc Costello had asked me when I visited. He asked, “Do you want to be a small fish in a big pond (U Maine) or do you want to be a big fish in a small pond (USM)?”
Attending USM was the best thing I ever did because academically the class sizes were smaller which enabled me to get support when needed, the campus itself was easy to navigate and it was not too far away from home! Basketball kept me focused with my academics and helped me with taking on leadership. Having put so much time working on my individual basketball skills gave me confidence on and off the court. I ended up getting my Elementary Education degree, setting school records and made lifelong friendships!
Doc Costello (Shown in picture with his wife) was like a father to me. He was the most enthusiastic positive adult I had ever met. The worst I heard him say was “Cheese and Crackers” when he got angry at us on the court. He always took the time to make sure things were going good for me. I will always cherish the memories I have of playing for him. He motivated me to be the best person/player I could be! I am glad I chose to be the big fish in the small pond and went to USM and got to have Doc Costello as my coach!