LEWISTON — LA Maples power forward/center Kayla Vangelist has taught school for the past 11 years, but stepping outside a classroom to teach young players the game of basketball is a pure delight for her.

Vangelist, of Raymond, was on hand with a handful other teammates to help run the Maples’ two-hour girls basketball camp at the Lewiston Memorial Armory on Saturday. The Maples, a semipro team that will start their inaugural season in July, also planned a intrasquad scrimmage for later Saturday.

For Vangelist, who had her daughter Marin in tow, teaching a group of around 25 girls the fundamentals of basketball is a privilege. She grew up attending basket camps and running clinics all through high school.

“As a teacher, I have always said to my husband, ‘I love teaching, but I love teaching basketball more than anything,” she said. “It is kind of the best of both worlds.

“(It is) a chance to get to be part of helping kids learn the game of basketball (and) is something I am down for it.”

Maples guard Allie Goodman of Freeport also enjoys working with aspiring hoop players.


“The highlight of my summer was always going to basketball camps,” Goodman, who recently finished her senior season with the University of New England basketball team, said. “I always looked up to the camp counselors. They were all college athletes. So I now love (teaching) it, too,”

Andrew Fraser and his daughter, Charlotte, 12, took the car ride from Scarborough to check out the clinic.

“It is a great learning experience, and, really, one of the Maples coaches is really a good mentor,” Fraser said. “Honestly, I didn’t even know about (the Maples), so it is pretty good exposure.”

Charlotte Fraser has been playing basketball since the first grade and her enthusiasm made the road trip worthwhile.

“I am really dedicated to basketball and I really love the sport and to play it,” Charlotte, who might become a Maples fan, said.

Zoey Lizotte of Lewiston has been playing basketball at home, but she wanted to give a clinic a try and “come out and play.”



Head coach and Maples president Jim Seavey said basketball camps are a necessity to getting the team’s brand out, building a fan base and giving back to the community for “a game that everybody is passionate about.”

“The (Maples players) know they have some obligations to give back to the community,” Seavey said. “This is the first one we asked them to be involved in.”

Maples general manager Sarah Soltan said the camps allow the Lewiston-Auburn community to meet the team.

“It is a great way to have the community meet us, and have the community know us and get the vibe of the team,” Soltan said. “We’ve had a really great response, lots of women have come out to the camp.”

Maples owner Joshua Brister said the camps are important to not only to fulfill the team’s obligation to the community, but to put Maples’ name out there. He added that more basketball clinics will be offered in the future.


“We have to grow the game and this is an integral step in that, having young ladies who are ages 8 to 13, come in, work out with the players, be a part of our first kind of activity day,” Brister said. “We think and we talk about an organization planting seeds, and this is one of those days.

“This is just kind of a pilot (clinic). We are working with TGK out of Portland. We are working with them, so they are bringing up some young ladies from outside the area. We have a great group of young ladies coming from inside the area.”

TGK stands for The Grind Knows and is based out of Saco, where the organization offers a variety of sports camps and skills training.

Deangelo Alston, founding director of TGK Athletics, said he is hoping to develop a partnership with the Maples.

“They are doing some great things in the community,” Alston said. “I love the Maples. I love the idea of having a great community-based semipro womens basketball team here. It is going to be a great thing for the ladies to have an avenue.”

Brister agrees with Alston that the Lewiston-Auburn area has a lot to offer.

“I want to dispel the myth of Lewiston-Auburn,” Brister said. “One of the biggest things that people don’t understand is the uniqueness of this part of Lewiston.

“A perfect example, I hope you speak for this, it was kind of tough parking here. So what we have is so much going on.

“With that, we want to be able to contribute and do our part to have change. Just make sure people know this is a great … area.  People need to come and check it out.”

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