Posted On: 11/11/20 5:43 PM
There are plenty of big days for players who are trying to carve a path to college basketball, but some are bigger than others. Even in the midst of a global pandemic and so much uncertainty about the high school season ahead, some ceremonial milestones are still taking place including the pomp and circumstance of National Signing Day. Wednesday marked the first day that athletes could sign their binding letters of intent to play college basketball and other sports. We tend to focus on verbal commitments, but signing your name on the dotted line makes it official.
I was at Roseville High School early Wednesday to celebrate with Tamia UgassTamiaUgass6'3" | CRoseville | 2021StateMN, a St. Paul product and Prep Girls Hoops Top 10 prospect who has committed to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. I have known Tamia since she was in the 6th grade. She played travel ball with my daughter Ally, and later they were teammates at Highland Park High School. I’m happy when any kid achieves their goals, but Tamia’s journey is special. As the daughter of an East African refugee who has worked extremely hard to build a life for her children in this country, Tamia’s story is the American Dream personified. Never mind the basketball, when she walks across the stage in 2025 with a college diploma we’ll all smile widely. I’m proud to be part of the circle of people that has helped her get to this point.
With so many kids putting pen to paper today it seems like a logical time to update our college commitments list. When we last offered up an update at the end of July there had been 40 commitments made public. Today that number has more than doubled and is headed north of 90. Just this morning there were two more as Coon Rapids teammates Ella GiorgiEllaGiorgi6'2" | PFCoon Rapids | 2021StateMN (Bemidji State) and Nicole PostNicolePost6'3" | CCoon Rapids | 2021StateMN (Gustavus) announced their choices.
Since our last update, eight more players have committed at the Division I level. That brings the current total to 32, including nine players signing with high-major programs. That compares to 20 total DI kids in the class of 2020. Since July another 15 players have announced their intentions to play DII basketball, bringing the total to 30. In addition, we know of six NAIA commitments, five to junior colleges and more than 20 to Division III programs. Here are the DI and DII additions since our last update:
- Ashlynn BigelowAshlynnBigelow5'9" | GKasson-Mantorville | 2021MN – guard, Kasson-Mantorville (Army)
- Gionna CarrGionnaCarr5'9" | CGStillwater | 2021StateMN – guard, Stillwater (Tennessee State)
- Ivory FinleyIvoryFinley5'8" | CGRosemount | 2021StateMN – guard, Rosemount (UMass-Lowell)
- Sophie HaydonSophieHaydon6'2" | PFMinnetonka | 2021StateMN – forward, Minnetonka (George Washington)
- Jade HillJadeHill5'8" | PGMpls. South | 2021StateMN – guard, Minneapolis South (St. Thomas)
- Paige KindsethPaigeKindseth5'10" | CGFarmington | 2021StateMN – guard, Farmington (Presbyterian)
- Erika LaneErikaLane5'8" | CGBrainerd | 2021StateMN – guard, Brainerd (North Dakota)
- Macy SmithMacySmith5'10" | CGSpring Lake Park | 2021StateMN – guard, Spring Lake Park (Cal State-Northridge)
- Faith AlbertsFaithAlberts6'0" | PFParkers Prairie | 2021StateMN – forward, Parkers Prairie (Concordia-St. Paul)
- Destinee BurschDestineeBursch5'9" | CGEden Prairie | 2021StateMN – guard, Eden Prairie (MSU-Mankato)
- Maya FitzpatrickMayaFitzpatrick5'10" | SGChamplin Park | 2021StateMN – guard, Champlin Park (Wayne State)
- Megan GambleMeganGamble5'10" | SFBecker | 2021StateMN – forward, Becker (Concordia-St. Paul)
- Ella GiorgiEllaGiorgi6'2" | PFCoon Rapids | 2021StateMN – forward, Coon Rapids (Bemidji State)
- Natalie HolteNatalieHolte5'6" | PGShakopee | 2021StateMN – guard, Shakopee (Black Hills State)
- Mackenzie JonesMackenzieJones5'9" | FWillmar | 2021MN – forward, Willmar (Southwest Minn. State)
- Alissa KnightAlissaKnight5'11" | FBelgrade-Bruton-Elrosa | 2021MN – forward, Belgrade-Bruton-Elrosa (MSU-Moorhead)
- Morgan KrumwiedeMorganKrumwiede5'10" | SFBurnsville | 2021StateMN – forward, Burnsville (MSU-Mankato)
- Katie LeisenKatieLeisen5'11" | SFEden Prairie | 2021StateMN – forward, Eden Prairie (Augustana)
- Lily PetersonLilyPeterson5'4" | PGCrosby-Ironton | 2021StateMN – guard, Crosby-Ironton (South Dakota Mines)
- Marissa RadtkeMarissaRadtke5'6" | SGLester Prairie-HT | 2021StateMN – guard, Lester Prairie (Northern State)
- Elly SchmitzEllySchmitz5'11" | SFHermantown | 2021StateMN – forward, Hermantown (Sioux Falls)
- Gina StefferudGinaStefferud5'10" | PFChamplin Park | 2021StateMN – forward, Champlin Park (Minot State)
- Caela TigheCaelaTighe6'0" | SFBig Lake | 2021StateMN – wing, Big Lake (Concordia-St. Paul)
There are just five players in the current Top 50 rankings for the Class of 2021 who have yet to announce a commitment. The most promising of these would be top-20 forward Frankie VascellaroFrankieVascellaro6'0" | SFHoly Angels | 2021StateMN of Holy Angels, who is the highest-ranked prospect still on the board. We have yet to see an announcement from forwards Kierra WheelerKierraWheeler6'1" | PFCooper | 2021StateMN of Robbinsdale Cooper, Nora FrancoisNoraFrancois6'0" | PFMinnetonka | 2021StateMN of Minnetonka or Caiya WulfCaiyaWulf6'0" | PFEdina | 2021StateMN of Edina. Lilli MackleyLilliMackley5'11" | CGHill-Murray | 2021StateMN of Hill-Murray has made a verbal commitment and is expected to make her choice public shortly.
Juniors & Sophomores
Echoing a trend we are seeing all around the country, the Class of 2022 seems eager to make early commitments this year. That’s not surprising given the NCAA’s decision to grant current players an additional year of eligibility along with the general uncertainty in the country right now. As a result we have seen six elite prospects from Minnesota’s junior class announce their choices already and more are getting close to a decision announcement. These are the committed 2022s:
- #4 Mallory HeyerMalloryHeyer6'2" | PFChaska | 2022State#36NationMN – forward, Chaska (Fury 2022 UAA) to Minnesota
- #5 Nia HollowayNiaHolloway6'0" | PFEden Prairie | 2022State#45NationMN – forward, Eden Prairie (North Tartan EYBL) to Minnesota
- #7 Ellie BuzzelleEllieBuzzelle5'9" | SGRogers | 2022State#60NationMN – guard, Rogers (Fury 2022 UAA) to Grand Canyon
- #8 Callin HakeCallinHake5'8" | PGChanhassen | 2022State#64NationMN – guard, Chanhassen (Fury 2022 UAA) to Nebraska
- #10 Desiree WareDesireeWare5'6" | CGMinnetonka | 2022StateMN – guard, Minnetonka (Stars 2022 Nilsen) to Alabama-Birmingham
- #14 Ellie ColbeckEllieColbeck5'9" | PGFergus Falls | 2022StateMN – guard, Fergus Falls (North Tartan EYBL) to South Dakota State
In addition, twin sisters Kaylie CrabtreeKaylieCrabtree5'8" | CGHawley | 2022StateMN and Kylie CrabtreeKylieCrabtree5'8" | CGHawley | 2022StateMN of Hawley (ND Flight) have verballed to Division II Montana State-Billings, and we had our first commitment this past week from the Class of 2023. That would be guard Taryn HamlingTarynHamling5'9" | PGGrand Rapids | 2023StateMN of Grand Rapids (Minnesota Stars Hersch), who will join her sister Heaven HamlingHeavenHamling5'9" | PGGrand Rapids AAA | 2018StateMN at North Dakota State.
Did we miss someone you know?
Our commitments list is based on player announcements via social media, as well information from college and high school coaches. We may have missed a few. If you know of a player who has made a college commitment please send me a direct message via Twitter (@gmachoops) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will add them to our lists.
Top photo: Tamia UgassTamiaUgass6'3" | CRoseville | 2021StateMN of Roseville (left) with her mom Khali.