Red Lake basketball star Grace White makes DI commitment
RED LAKE - Red Lake High School now has its first-ever NCAA Division I basketball recruit.
Girls basketball player Grace White announced her verbal commitment to play for the University of Denver on Twitter on Thursday night.
"Once I visited Denver, I just knew that it was going to be my home," White said Friday in an interview with the Pioneer. "It just fit perfectly for every situation."
The incoming senior guard possesses an eye-popping statline coming off of the Warriors' 22-4 season in 2015-16. White averaged about 24 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals per game last year as a junior.
"She's our engine that goes and if she ain't going, we ain't going," said Red Lake girls basketball coach Randy Holthusen. "A lot of our stuff runs through her and we try to give her as many touches as possible to get our offense going. And on defense, she's our catalyst on defense too. She protects the middle for us and she grabs a lot of rebounds for us and she makes it difficult for other girls to score when she's in the middle."
Red Lake has quite a rich basketball tradition but it had never produced a Division I recruit, boy or girl, until White.
"To be honest with you, of all the athletes to come through Red Lake, not one boy or girl has made it to the Division I level, yet alone verbally commit to one," Holthusen said. "There's a few like myself and Tom Barrett, and there's a few guys in the pack that played college ball, but nothing to this magnitude. I'm just very honored and privileged to be coaching a girl like that."
Denver is a member of the Summit League, which means she will play nearby schools like North Dakota State, South Dakota and South Dakota State every year, which factored in to her decision.
"It's a little bit of a smaller school for Division I but we play NDSU and SDSU, games that are very reachable for my family and for the reservation to go to," said White, who is the daughter of Red Lake boys basketball head coach Roger White.
Entering her senior year, White says she is glad to have made her decision before the start of the season.
"It really allows me to focus on my senior year now and what I have to accomplish," she said. "It just is like a huge weight off my shoulders. But at the same time it was an incredible feeling and just a great opportunity for schooling and everything."
White says she hopes fulfilling her dream can lead others to do the same.
"I just want to set an example for the younger people that they can set out and do whatever they want to do and make their dreams come true," she said. "This has been a dream of mine since I was in middle school that I wanted to go Division I and I didn't make an excuse for myself not to."