Young hoops fans take in Bengals game

FORT KENT, Maine — Young basketball fans from near and far joined their parents on Sunday for some family time at the University of Maine at Fort Kent Sport Center as the UMFK Bengals took on College of St. Joseph’s Vermont.

Elliot Murray sharpens his dribbling skills on the gymnasium floor at the University of Maine at Fort Kent Sport Center following a basketball game on Sunday, Feb. 11. The 2-year-old traveled to Fort Kent from Farmington, along with his parents, Maurice and Monica Murray, to watch the Bengals take on College of St. Joseph’s Vermont. (Jessica Potila)

UMFK alumni Milton Christopher attended the game with his 7-month-old daughter, Kiera Christopher. The baby girl watched the basketball action and checked out the spectators with wide-eyed curiosity as she alternately snuggled with her father.

The former midfielder of the UMFK Bengal men’s soccer team which won the 2016 USCAA Soccer National Championship said he and Kiera attended the game to support his alma mater.

The elder Christopher added that he enjoyed the family time spent watching the Bengals defeat St. Joe’s.

“It was excellent; the whole team played well,” he said.

Another young basketball fan who attended the game was 2-year-old Elliot Murray. Murray and his parents, Monica and Maurice Murray, drove up from their home in Farmington to visit friends and enjoy some college hoops action.

“It was a good reason take a trip and spend some family time together,” Maurice Murray, a student at the University of Maine Farmington, said.

Elliot Murray, 2, of Farmington hit the gym floor to shoot some hoops himself following a basketball game between the Bengals and College of St. Joseph’s Vermont at the University of Maine at Fort Kent Sport Center on Sunday, Feb. 11. (Jessica Potila)

Once the game ended, Elliot Murray joined a few much older children on the gymnasium floor to shoot some hoops, or in the youngster’s case, make a notable effort at aiming for the basket.

Despite his young age, the toddler proved to be an effective ball handler, and was even able to dribble an adult sized basketball.

Elliot has been a fan of the sport since he was born, according to his mother.

“When he was a baby, it was the only thing he would watch on TV,” Monica Murray said.

Whether Elliot Murray will return to the Sport Center as a future Bengal remains to be seen, but the prospect is not beyond the realm of possibility, according to his father.

“He’s definitely going to college; where he goes, that will be his own call,” Maurice Murray said.

The Bengal men will play their last home game of the season against the University of Maine at Presque Isle on Thursday, Feb. 15, beginning at 7 p.m. at the UMFK Sport Center.

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