NDSU Athletics Programs Introduce Recruiting Classes on National Signing Day
Softball, Men's and Women's Basketball Teams Welcome New Class
FARGO, N.D. – (NDSU Athletics) The North Dakota State University men’s basketball program has signed four student-athletes to its 2020 recruiting class, head coach David Richman announced Wednesday.
Donald Carter III, a guard from Minneapolis, Minn.; Grant Nelson, a forward from Devils Lake, N.D.; Boden Skunberg, a guard from Jamestown, N.D.; and Grayson Haman, a guard from Fargo, N.D., will continue their education and compete at North Dakota State.
“We are thrilled with adding these four young men to the Bison Family, and especially excited about three of them joining us from our state,” said Richman. “They all come from programs with great coaches who have helped prepare them for their future success.”
Carter (Scottsdale Community College) started all 30 games last season as a freshman at Scottsdale CC in Arizona, averaging 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists while shooting 49 percent overall. Originally from Minneapolis, Carter has spent the past six years in the Phoenix area and will come to NDSU with two seasons of eligibility remaining.
“Donald is a tough, physical lead guard that has won everywhere he has been,” said Richman. “He’s a great young man who truly loves the game and is a great competitor and leader.”
Nelson (Devils Lake HS) averaged 16 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks per game as a junior last season, earning all-conference and second-team all-state honors. He holds the Devils Lake school records for blocks in a season and career, and is also a state placewinner in the high jump.
“Grant is a long and athletic player who has a very diverse skillset, and he can play inside or out depending on what the game situation dictates,” Richman said. “He just continues to get better every time we see him, and he has a bright future at NDSU.”
Skunberg (Jamestown HS) has been a four-year starter in his high school career, averaging 25 points, six rebounds and four assists per game as a junior last season. He earned all-conference and first-team all-state recognition as a junior, helping to lead Jamestown to an undefeated state championship season.
“Boden is an extremely talented scorer, who can score in a variety of ways and has a knack for making big plays,” said Richman. “He loves the game and is constantly working to get better. We knew early he would be a great fit, and we are looking forward to his future as a Bison.”
Haman (Fargo Davies HS) looks to have an expanded role as a senior for Davies HS after averaging six points, four rebounds and two assists for the EDC champions and state runners-up as a junior last season.
“Grayson has a great frame and is a little bit of a late bloomer,” Richman said. “He continues to get better, and his hunger and passion for the game will be a great addition to our program.”
“We are excited to add these four to our program, but just as excited to add their great families to the Bison Family,” Richman continued. “These young men are great people who will represent our university in a first-class manner on the court, in the community, and in the classroom.”
North Dakota State women’s basketball head coach Jory Collins has announced the signing of three players. NDSU will add a pair of high school players, while also getting a junior college transfer.
Abigail Schulte, a 5-10 guard from Maple Grove, Minn., Kylie Strop, a 5-7 guard from River Falls, Wis. and Reneya Hopkins, a 5-7 junior college transfer from Redlands Community College have all signed during the first signing day for Collins.
“As a class, we are very pleased to add these three players,” Collins said. “We set out to get more ball handling, decision making, defense and players we thought were raised to be ultimate competitors. All three are point guards at heart, but also have the ability to play off the ball. Besides the physical attributes they possess, each of these young ladies come from terrific families. Their personal qualities are every bit as impressive as their basketball skills. I know they’re excited to come help us build this program.”
From Midwest City, Okla., Hopkins earned all-conference honors as a freshman at Redlands Community College. During her rookie campaign, Hopkins averaged 14.4 points, 5.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. She started 27 of the 28 games she appeared in, while also pulling down 5.2 rebounds per game for a team that went 21-10. Redlands has started the 2019-20 season 4-0, with Hopkins averaging 20.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game, while shooting 44 percent from the field. Hopkins was an all-state and all-city selection in 2018, while also being part of a team that won the 2016 state championship. Hopkins plans to major in Kinesiology.
“Reneya will be the best athlete on our team as soon as she steps on campus,” Collins said. “She will add a dimension we don’t have as far as putting pressure on other teams on both ends of the floor. She also plays the game with a confidence and swagger we need an infusion of. As a point guard, she is a very good scorer at all three levels, but is also terrific at creating for other people. We are probably most excited about Reneya’s ability to pressure the ball and create some havoc defensively.”
Schulte earned all-state honorable mention honors as a junior, while picking up all-conference honors as a sophomore and junior. Schulte was part of a Maple Grove High School team that qualified for the state tournament the last two years. A four-year starter, Schulte averaged 12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game as a junior. This fall, Schulte was part of a Maple Grove soccer team that won the Minnesota state title. Schulte is also a member of the National Honor Society and plans to major in child development.
“Abigail is a big guard who can play both on and off the ball,” Collins added. “She will have great versatility for us being able to play all our guard positions. She’s a player who doesn’t have a major weakness and is solid in all areas. As she matures and concentrates on basketball full-time, she is going to have a major impact at NDSU. The things that stand out most with Abby are her feel for the game, how she sees the floor and anticipates both offensively and defensively. She has great leadership qualities and intangibles to go with a well-rounded skill set. Most importantly, Abigail is a terrific competitor.”
A four-year starter for River Falls High School, Strop averaged 19.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.0 steals per game as a junior. A three-time all-conference selection, Strop has surpassed 1,200 career points and 500 rebounds. The all-time leader in points and steals at River Falls High School, Strop has earned team MVP honors, as well as being named the best defender and best offensive player during her career. Strop plans to major in nursing at NDSU.
“The first thing our fans will notice about Kylie is her toughness and competitiveness,” Collins said. “She’s one of those players who isn’t afraid to stick her nose in places and mix it up a little bit. She doesn’t back down from anybody and plays the game with an attitude and mentality we need. Kylie has very good speed and quickness and is able to pressure the ball at a level we’re not able to this year. Her ability to push the ball in transition and play with pace is something we are excited about.”
The Bison return to action on Friday, as they host Valparaiso. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Scheels Center.
North Dakota State University head softball coach Darren Mueller announced the addition of four players, outfielder/catcher Emilee Buringa (St. Charles, Minn. / St. Charles H.S.), shortstop/outfielder Molly Gates (Poulsbo, Wash. / Olympic H.S.), infielder Ciara Jensen (Canyon Lake, Calif. / Temescal Canyon H.S.), and catcher/first baseman Reanna Rudd (Huntington Beach, Calif. / Huntington Beach H.S.), who will play softball beginning in the fall of 2020.
EMILEE BURINGA, 5-10, Outfielder/Catcher, Bats: L / Throws: L, St. Charles, Minn. (St. Charles H.S.)
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-time all-state performer at catcher and the outfield for St. Charles High School and head coach Mike Buringa … Hit .542 as a junior with four home runs, 18 extra base hits and 34 stolen bases … Career .538 hitter with 10 home runs and 118 stolen bases … Three-time all-conference, all-section and Rochester Post Bulletin all-area selection … All-conference basketball player and also played soccer … National Honor Society … Academic Excellence award and Academic letter winner … Played summer league for the SE Flyers.
PERSONAL: Daughter of Jyll and Mike Buringa … Has two sisters, Laura and Grace, and one brother, Mark … Grandfather, Harvey Korb, attended NDSU from 1946-50, and brother, Mark is current student … Father, Mike, played baseball at Winona State.
MOLLY GATES, 5-7, Shortstop/Outfielder, Bats: L / Throws: R, Poulsbo, Wash. (Olympic H.S.)
HIGH SCHOOL: All-state performer at shortstop for Olympic High School and head coach Jessica Cabato … Hit .770 with 15 home runs, 51 runs scored and 37 RBI to earn 2019 Olympic League MVP award and honorable mention all-state … Had a 1.868 slugging percentage and .810 on-base percentage … Was 17 for 17 in stolen bases … Named first team all-state, all-league and all-Westbound in 2018 after hitting .645 with seven home runs, 33 runs scored and 38 RBI … Had 1.370 slugging and .694 on-base percentage … Was 10 for 10 in stolen bases … Played in the 2018 and 2019 All-Star games … Played summer league for the WA Ladyhawks, which won the 2018 ASA National Championship and Triple Crown World Series … Won PGF national qualifiers in 2017 and 2018 … ASA, NSA, USSSA state champs from 2012-14 … National Junior Honor Society … ASB Representative … President’s award for academic achievement … Also played basketball and volleyball … Participated in Equine 4-H for seven years and competed four times in state competitions.
PERSONAL: Daughter of Paula and Matthew Gates … Has one sister, Madeleine … Plans to major in exercise science.
CIARA JENSEN, 5-3, Infielder, Bats: L / Throws: R, Canyon Lake, Calif. (Temescal Canyon H.S.)
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-time first team all-CIF player at shortstop, second base and pitcher for Temescal High School and head coach Ryan Hambright … During junior year, hit .550 with 38 runs scored and 39 RBI … League MVP as a sophomore … Finished with 14 doubles, three triples and one home run … Career .521 hitter 66 RBI, 63 runs scored, 23 doubles, seven triples and six homers … In travel ball for the Strike Force, hit .577 with 42 runs scored, 39 RBI, 24 doubles, six triples and six home runs.
PERSONAL: Daughter of Rachel and Jim Jensen … Has four sisters, Angelica, Brianna, Danika and Elanna … Father, Jim, played at Fresno City College, and sisters, Angelica and Brianna, competed at Hope International University and the University of Mary, respectively … Plans to major in English.
REANNA RUDD, 5-11, Catcher/1st Base, Bats: R / Throws: R, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Huntington Beach H.S.)
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starter at catcher and first base for Huntington Beach High School and head coach Jeff Forsberg … Second team all-Sunset League (Division I) after hitting .377 with six home runs … Led Huntington Beach to the semifinals in the CIF state playoffs, eventually losing to the country’s No. 1-ranked team Norco High School … Played on 2018 Sunset League championship team … Scholar Athlete … Summer league team Monarchs Gold won the 16-under PGF Nationals and On Deck/TCS 18-under tournament … Named MVP at 16-under PGF Nationals, hitting .364 with a pair of home runs.
PERSONAL: Daughter of Vickie and Rick Rudd … Has two sisters, Valerie and Torie … Mother, Vickie, played softball for Cal Poly, and sister, Valerie, plays at Abilene Christian … Plans to major in mechanical engineering.
North Dakota State finished the 2019 season with a 42-16 record. NDSU won its eighth Summit League regular season and 10th tournament championship to advance to the NCAA tournament.