by ELIZABETH METSCH, Staff Writer
Former Jasper Maeve Parahus graduated from Manhattan last year and has moved to Ireland to play for the Institute of Technology, Carlow, while attaining her graduate degree.
Maeve was a four-year scholarship player for the Manhattan College women’s basketball team. She was both a leading scorer and senior captain. A Dean’s List and three-time MAAC All-Academic Team member, Parahus was also the 12th player in program history to hit 100 three-point shots and played in all 121 games during her career.
Maeve has always brought a great energy wherever she went. Women’s basketball head coach Heather Vulin commented that “You could always count on her for a smile. We used to call her joy because she just had a great, joyful spirit.”
She continued saying, “[Maeve] was always a good sport and could laugh at herself when she did something silly or made mistakes. But, her level of commitment was always there. She really bought into the efforts me and my staff were making to change the culture of the team.”
She invested in the program and what it means to be a Jasper. The team was like a second family to her.
Mikki Guiton, a fifth-year player for the team and Maeve’s freshman year roommate, shared that “being a Jasper means everything to Maeve. She’s always had a big presence not just on the court, but in the classroom too.”
Coach Vulin repeated this sentiment explaining how Parahus had close relationships with many of her professors and was a part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She was a local girl and always had a good grounding and awareness of herself. However, college wasn’t a completely easy adjustment.
As someone so close to home, Parahus had a great support system. She couldn’t recall a home game that either of her grandpa’s missed. Coach Vulin remembered Parahus’ first home game of her senior year where “she must’ve had over 30 family members and friends in the stands.”
However, Parahus stepped out of her comfort zone when she went to Ireland.
“When I was actually offered to become a Victory Scholar I knew it was my chance to really become independent and step out of my comfort zone,” Parahus said in an email statement.
“The main reason I became a part of this program was because I truly believe in their mission with inspiring young children through sport. As a future physical education teacher, this opportunity I believe will prepare me for success in the future,” she continued.
Therefore, she decided to continue to her basketball career in the Victory Scholar Program. The MAAC has sent other students into the “Sport Changes Life Victory Scholars Program.” This year, seven of the twenty-five scholars were from the MAAC. They all have the opportunity to achieve their master’s degree, while mentoring youth in Northern Irish communities.
Guiton explained how Parahus is a bit of a homebody and very family-oriented. Though she excelled at Manhattan, college definitely had a transition phase for her.
As a result, Guiton says Parahus was a little reserved at first about applying to the Victory Scholar Program abroad. However, her coaches pushed her to apply, thinking as a good basketball player, student and citizen, she would be the ideal candidate.
Parahus has family that is originally from Ireland. Her heritage paired with the amazing opportunity to continue receiving a free education and playing the game she loves motivated her to ultimately apply and make the move to Ireland.
Since heading abroad, she has been loving every second of it and staying active. However there was a bit of an adjustment period. Coach Vulin shared that though she has been a bit homesick, Parahus has stayed busy and positive and is making the most of the experience while it is available to her.
On transitioning to life in Ireland, Parahus wrote, “Talk about a different world!”
The hardest things to get used to for her were the accents, driving on the other side of the road and missing out on daily breakfast sandwiches and iced coffee (her personal favorites). However, she is getting used to Irish fish and chips which is now one of her favorite foods.
Now, an average day for Parahus starts with class in the morning and “After that, I would go volunteer for the community coaching basketball. Once I finish coaching, I have practice with my Super League team,” she shared. Following that she typically enjoys a meal and some relaxation time with her teammates.
She has been able to come home a couple of times. One of those times was for Christmas when she visited the women’s team along with her family. The other time was to surprise her family for Easter.
While she was home over her Christmas break she attended a couple games, which her team appreciated a lot.
“The common thread is that she is missed,” Coach Vulin said. “Everyone loves Maeve.”
Her family has been able to alternate flying out to visit her a few times as well.
Additionally, she worked for the Belfast Classic Tournament in which the Manhattan men’s basketball team competed in.
Parahus explained that although she has loved her time in Ireland, so much so that Guiton has a hunch she might extend her stay, she is excited about ultimately coming home. She is really excited about starting her career as a physical education teacher and coach which has been a goal of her’s for many years now.
She has a passion for inspiring youth and keeping them active.
“I love being a positive role model on and off the court. Living an active lifestyle is something I believe in,” Parahus wrote.
Her master’s degree will be in sports performance and will help support the degree she received from Manhattan.
It will be interesting to see if her basketball career continues further abroad, or if she decides to settle down and stick to that plan. However, for now, the All-Star player and former Jasper seems to be doing just fine living in the moment.