Kabantu Accepts Bentley Offer
The Maine Firecrackers have had players come from Bangor (Butler sisters-Brown/Tufts), Mount Desert Island (Sierra Tapley-UMO/Kelsey Shaw-Stonehill), and Presque Isle (Hannah Graham-Bowdoin) to join their program, but the journey of Amanda Kabantu started halfway across the globe in Congo. After a brief stop in California, she, her sister (Davina), and cousin (Gemima Motema) arrived in Portland with hopes to live safely and get an education in the United States. A tireless worker on the court and a gregarious personality off the court, Amanda dreamed of earning a scholarship from basketball to get a free education. Today, she informed Bentley she’d be joining fellow Firecrackers Maggie Whitmore and Brooke Obar on the Falcons squad after her graduation next year.
Kabantu burst onto the scene as a freshman at Portland High School displaying unusual athleticism and was named to the SMAA All-Rookie team. In her Junior year, she led the Bulldogs to the Northern Maine Final, where they lost to State Champion Oxford Hills, who were paced by Firecracker backcourt teammate Julz Colby. A 5’9 guard, Kabantu was the leading rebounder in Class AA North with 11.9 per game to go with 10.9 points, 2.5 steals, and 2.3 assists. For her outstanding play, she was named First Team Bangor Daily News and All-State by the Maine Sunday Telegram in addition to being First Team All-SMAA. Firecracker Head Coach Brian Clement commented, “It is a special occasion when any of our kids commits to play in college, but given the difficult path Amanda had to take, this one feels especially good. She is humble, positive, polite, grateful for her opportunities and an amazing talent on the court. Amanda is the best offensive rebounder our program has ever had. She plays tenacious defense and can score in a variety of ways. Combined with her work ethic and willingness to be coached, she has the tools to be a standout at Bentley.”
In addition to her Bentley offer, the much heralded guard also received scholarship offers from Rider, NY Institute of Tech, Stonehill, Quinipiac, University of Maine, and Stony Brook.
Bentley is especially well recognized for it’s business program and is a member of the Division 2 Northeast 10 Conference. Head Coach Barbara Stevens is one of only six coaches in NCAA women’s history to surpass 1000 victories and has been named D2 National Coach of the Year five times while amassing an incredible .781 winning percentage. In 2014, Bentley captured it’s first ever National Championship.