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Farstveet to play basketball at DSU

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Beach senior guard Hailee Farstveet looks to pass against Shiloh Christian on Jan. 20 at Beach High School gymnasium. Farstveet has signed to play basketball at Dickinson State.

From the first time Dickinson State women’s basketball coach Mark Graupe saw Beach’s Hailee Farstveet play, he knew the 5-foot-9 senior guard had to be his No. 1 recruiting priority.

The heightened priority resulted in Farstveet being the Blue Hawks’ first signee for the 2014-15 season.

“Right when I got the job way back in about the first of October, I spoke at a booster club meeting and I said right off the bat, ‘I need to land a couple big guards,’” Graupe said. “That was the key to my recruiting process is that I needed to land some taller guards. When I saw Hailee right away, she fit the build perfectly. She ran the point guard for Beach. She’s tall and long. With her, I saw great flexibility in that she could play a lot of different positions for us. She could also guard a lot of different players on the opposition.

“She was the first recruit that I offered. I spent a lot of time going to Beach games. I made her a high priority. It was quite a while ago when she verbally committed and when she did I was excited as I’ve ever been when a recruit told me that they would come. I felt right off the get-go she’s one of the best I’ve seen all year. No doubt about it.”

Farstveet helped lead the Buccaneers five straight state tournament appearances. She won a state title with the Buccaneers her eighth-grade season in 2010. In the final four years of her high school career, Beach placed fifth, third, sixth and fourth at state in each respective season.

During the awards ceremony following the 2014 Class B state championship game, Farstveet was honored as the Class B senior athlete of the year. She’s also been a three-time all-Region 7 and two-time all-state player.

Farstveet ended her senior season averaging 14.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and three steals per game.

Beach head coach Bob Waldal knew during Farstveet’s junior season, she had the talent to play at the next level.

Waldal, who is also Farstveet’s grandfather, is the men’s basketball all-time leading scorer and athletic Hall of Fame inductee for the Blue Hawks. He scored 1,832 points in 96 games during the 1960s.

“I thought a year ago she could just because of her court sense,” Waldal said.

Needless to say, Waldal is pleased Farstveet chose to attend DSU.

“For selfish reasons, I’m glad that she’s close by, so we can watch her play,” he said with a laugh. “I’m just real happy her choice, because of her coach. I think Graupe has a good basketball mind and I think she’s going to be happy playing there. She’s kind of close to home, which she wanted anyways.”

Graupe also knew he needed to sign more players from North Dakota. In 2013, the Blue Hawks’ roster had one player from North Dakota — Glen Ullin’s Emily Wolf.

In Graupe’s first season as the DSU head coach, the team finished with a 14-16 overall record and 4-11 in the Frontier Conference.

“I thought that something I had to do was land some of best players this state has to offer,” Graupe said. “When Hailee received the Class B senior athlete of year, it obviously tells you she’s one of the top players in the state. We’ve only just begun and we are going to get some more.”