By Melissa Eelman, Staff Writer 

UMF award recipient Elizabeth Ferry (Photo courtesy of UMF Athletics)

UMF award recipient Elizabeth Ferry (Photo courtesy of UMF Athletics)

Senior Elizabeth Ferry has recently been honored the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Senior Scholar-Athlete award, along with being accepted into the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) “So You Want To Be a Coach” program.

Both achievements were a surprise for Ferry. “Obviously, there are so many athletes,” she said, “I didn’t expect it.”

The NAC Senior Scholar-Athlete award is a milestone for UMF as well. “This is the first time a UMF player has been selected,” said Director of Athletics Communications Dustin Parker. “The NAC Senior Scholar-Athlete award is new to the league, so Ferry is not only the first UMF player to win the award, but the first women’s basketball player ever.”

Women’s basketball coach Jamie Beaudoin spoke proudly of Ferry and expressed true joy in her recent accomplishment. “She is truly deserving of this award and I do believe it is even more meaningful that she will set the bar for future winners of this award in the sport of women’s basketball,” said Beaudoin in an email.

Only one player from each of the ten teams in the North Atlantic Conference is nominated for the award. The other coaches then vote on the most deserving player. “The award is based on academic success, community service and integrity,” said Ferry.

Ferry’s coach certainly agrees that she posses these qualities. “She is a proven leader in every aspect of her life. She is committed, energetic, and caring,” said Beaudoin. “Her success in the classroom, in athletics and as being a great ambassador for UMF truly sets her apart.”

In agreeing with Beaudoin’s kind words, junior teammate of Ferry, Kennadi Grover reflected on Ferry’s strong qualities and strengths that she has brought to the team.

I have really enjoyed being Elizabeth’s teammate,” said Grover. “She is always there to encourage everybody, she cares about everything and is always giving high fives. I think that on and off the court Elizabeth is a leader and will always have several people looking up to her because she is a successful person who has a good head on her shoulders. She has done a lot for UMF and will always have a positive impact in everybody’s life.”

The “So You Want to Be a Coach” program acceptance is quite an accomplishment as well. Ferry is only one of 11 D3 players in a 75-player pool and was selected from that large group. She is the first student from UMF to receive this acceptance. “When you’re from a small area like Maine, you don’t expect to be part of such a big thing,” said Ferry.

Ferry will be representing UMF in April when she travels to Indianapolis for the program. She will be playing basketball with players from D1 teams from across the country.  Grateful for this experience, Ferry said, “I am excited to represent the school, my team and myself.”

Basketball has been important to Ferry since she was young. “Basketball is a huge part of my life,” she said, “I think ball was my second word.” Ferry has played basketball since she was in first grade and has coached both middle school and high school. Her favorite part about sports is the interaction with others. “It would be easy to say winning is my favorite part, but it’s about the relationships with the players, coaches and fans,” said Ferry, “It’s those relationships with people that make it worthwhile.”

Ferry keeps busy with her many activities and contributions to the community. In addition to playing basketball, she substitutes at local schools, coaches, and promotes both UMF and the athletics program as an admissions ambassador. She also serves as the president for the NAC Student Athlete Advisory Council.

Ferry will be graduating in May and will be teaching and coaching with the Peace Corps in Tanzania beginning in July.