Riverland guard Anna Hebrink signs with Bemidji State

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Two years of playing for her mom paid off big time for a Riverland sophomore basketball player as she earned herself a full ride scholarship at a Division II NCAA basketball team.

Anna Hebrink, a 2007 Austin grad and daughter of Riverland head women’s basketball coach Suzy Hebrink, signed a letter-of-intent to play at Bemidji State University next season Wednesday at RCC.

“It’ll be different not seeing (my mom) out there on the court, but it’s exciting,” Anna Hebrink said. “It’ll be nice (just being mother and daughter again.)”

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Anna Hebrink has a chance to play right away for the Beavers, who were 3-24 overall and 1-19 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference last season. BSU started five freshmen at times and is looking for the guard to add experience to their team.

“Coach said he wants me to go in and help out right away,” Anna Hebrink said. “Plus they’ve got some other recruits coming in.”

Suzy Hebrink feels that her daughter is well prepared to play at the next level after two years of growing at RCC.

“The scholarship that she got was definitely not available to her out of high school,” Suzy Hebrink said. “Before she was just a shooter, and now she can go inside and drive. She’s much better of an all-around player than she was two years ago and that’s what they’re looking for.”

Anna Hebrink chose BSU, which is located about 335 miles northwest of Austin, because she liked its smaller size (an enrollment of around 5,000) and felt at home.

“I loved the campus,” she said.” I loved the school and playing with the team just felt right. I felt like I belonged there.”

While Suzy Hebrink acknowledged there will be much higher competition at the Division II level, she said the recruiting process was similar to what she does while recruiting for RCC.

“I listened to other coaches talk to her and it’s amazing how many things are similar. What we’re looking for in players is a lot of the same. They’re (players are) just a little bit better at every level,” she said. “I think she’s ready. It’s time for her to move on and it’ll be great for her to be coached by somebody else.”

Last season, Anna Hebrink, who was selected on the third team NJCAA All-American squad, averaged 16.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.6 steals per contest, while shooting 47.3 percent from the field, 40.5 percent on three-pointers, and 71.4 percent on free throws.

The Blue Devils were 23-7 overall and lost in the Regional Final to Rochester.

“I’m gonna miss playing with the people I played with forever, but you’ve gotta move on,” Anna Hebrink said. “We had some great records.”

Bemidji’s population is approximately 30,000 people and BSU’s basketball arena holds 2,500 fans.

Anna Hebrink is the second player under Suzy Hebrink to sign with a Division II school. Her teammate and fellow Austin alum, Brook Monson, signed with Minot State in October.