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Wildcat women’s basketball acquires top high school recruit

Julie Ortega

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Sammy DeHart, right, signs her National Letter of Intent to attend Chico State in the fall. DeHart started for two years on Nevada Union High School's varsity team in Grass Valley and was one of two team captains. Photo courtesy of Rory Miller.

The Chico State women’s basketball team is already gearing up for next season by recruiting high school standout Sammy DeHart.

DeHart completed two years starting for Nevada Union High School’s varsity team in Grass Valley as one of its two team captains. In 2013, DeHart was awarded First Team All-Conference, and she helped her squad become conference champions.

That same year, DeHart was the third leading scorer on the team.

“I’m looking forward to playing with girls that want to be out on the court and love the game,” DeHart said.

Standing at 5 feet 11 inches, DeHart is currently averaging:

  • 12.8 points per game

  • 1.8 assists per game

  • 5.5 rebounds per game

“Sammy plays extremely hard,” said Brian Fogel, the women’s basketball team’s head coach. “She’s very motivated, very dedicated, wants to be successful and will value the opportunity here at (Chico State).”

DeHart’s competitive nature stood out the most, Fogel said.

“I think coach Fogel recruited me because I can do a little bit of everything,” DeHart said. “I have good work ethic. I love to learn new things and new ways of doing something and am always open to people’s opinions on how I can do something better.”

With DeHart coming from a respected program like Nevada Union High School, Fogel has set high expectations for her, and he anticipates that she will step in and contribute to the team, he said.

Nevada Union currently ranks 335th in California.

“They historically have been very successful. The kids that come out of that program are very well coached, and it makes for an easier transition,” Fogel said.

Before the season begins next fall, DeHart will receive a package with a program that will define the standards and expectations she has to meet. It will also include a list of guidelines and ways to effectively accomplish them.

Dehart is expected to arrive next fall in good shape, because she will fall behind if she does not, Fogel said.

“You don’t want to be that person that holds the group back,” he said.

The transition from playing in high school to playing in college is challenging —courts are longer, people are stronger and the speed of the game is faster, said first-year point guard Whitney Branham.

“These are like women,” she said. “You’re not playing against girls anymore. Training in the summer before arriving to college is up to yourself.”

This summer, DeHart plans on working on her basketball skills and hitting the weight room so that she becomes stronger for her first season at Chico State, she said.

Junior forward Brooke Bowen also thinks that DeHart will be a good addition to the team, she said.

“It’ll be good to have someone who’s versatile that can play guard and forward,” Bowen said.

Julie Ortega can be reached at [email protected] or @julieOrtega_ on Twitter.

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Wildcat women’s basketball acquires top high school recruit