By Nicole Duplessis
She dribbles, she shoots and she scores. Parise Rossignol has been an active basketball player since she was in pre-school. From shooting around in her front yard and attending basketball camps, what was originally a small pastime turned into a true passion.
Rossignol is from Van Buren, where she has been a Van Buren Crusader for her early basketball career. She doesn’t just play the sport when the season comes around however: it’s something she pursues yearly.
“I’ve been playing basketball for as long as I can remember. I went to my first camp when I was in Pre-K,” Rossignol said. “I went to Tiger Basketball Camp in Fort Fairfield from when I was in Pre-K until eighth grade. Growing up my father also ran a few different camps in the County during the summer so I attended all of those.”
Rossignol’s father, Matt Rossignol, has played an important role in his daughter’s career from day one. He created a scoring record of 2,257 points during his four-year high school basketball career as a Crusader from 1982-1985. Rossignol beat her father’s record during her four-year high school career with 2,589 points. Rossignol was also coached by her father throughout her high school career, where she not only learned more about herself but was a positive role model for others on the team.
“Parise was always a good motivator for the team. We had good laughs with her in practices, sometimes even in games,” Emily Dumond, a senior at Van Buren District Secondary School, said.
Rossignol maintained her position as point guard throughout both middle and high school. She was a starter every year as well as a captain.
“University of Maine started recruiting me when I was a freshman and offered me a scholarship my sophomore year. I accepted because it was a good opportunity to get a good education while doing something I love. It has changed my life a lot,” Rossignol said.
Rossignol graduated salutatorian of her 2014 class. With her college career opening up many new doors for her both academically and athletically, she admits she has already had many experiences she is thankful for.
“Basketball and other sports have impacted my life in a bunch of ways. I think the biggest thing playing sports has done for me is build character. It taught me how to win and lose the right way,” Rossignol said. “Another amazing thing that sports and especially basketball has done for me is form amazing relationships. I’ve met so many amazing people through sports. Whether it was getting closer to teammates from my hometown or getting to know players on opposing teams, I’ve been able to make friends with great people who share the same love for the game as I do.”
Rossignol’s personality and outlook on many aspects of her career are some of the reasons she was highly looked upon to become a Maine Black Bear. Her athletic skills and capability are without a doubt a given bonus, but character is of extreme importance when transitioning into the Black Bear family.
“We look for good students, good people. That’s really important to us,” Amy Vachon, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the University of Maine women’s basketball team, said. “First and foremost she’s a tremendous team player. She’s a great kid. I just think that Parise had a really great high school career. She is doing a phenomenal job.”
Transitions are difficult, but Rossignol has proved herself to her coaches, to her teammates, and to herself that she is more than capable and passionate.
“Parise is learning a great deal every day in practice and has shown consistent improvement both physically and mentally this season,” Richard Barron, head coach of the University of Maine women’s basketball team, said. “She is learning to be a better decision maker, a better ball handler and an overall better defender. Additionally, Parise brings a terrific attitude and work ethic to the team. Everyone loves her toughness and effort.”
Being in the freshman year of her new journey, Rossignol has ended one chapter of her career with the Crusaders on a high note, and is starting her new career on an equally high note.
“It was definitely a big change. It’s hard work at the level that I had never experienced before. From the physical workouts and practices, to the demands of balancing that with school work, it was definitely a change for me,” Rossignol said. “I’ve formed such amazing friendships with everyone on my team and I’ve been able to travel to and play in many different places in the country with them. So far it has been great and I’m really excited for my next 3 years here at University of Maine.”
While Rossignol continues to dribble, shoot, and score, she also encourages young kids, pre-teens and athletes of all ages to strive for whatever it is they hope to achieve.
“At the end of the day, you should be playing for yourself and playing to have fun,” Rossignol said. “I’m playing for two people, myself and God and I think that’s the reason why I’ve had so much fun playing the sport.”
From faith, family, dedication and hometown support, Rossignol will continue to live her passion for the next few years to come.