Ashlie Larson, senior guard, is a leader and veteran for the Dickinson State Blue Hawks this winter.

She is in her second season with Dickinson State after transferring before her junior year from Casper College in Wyoming.

“(This has been) one of the best experiences of my life to come here,” she said.

Her dream started back when she was young.

“Ever since I was little, I told myself that I was going to play college basketball for Connecticut,” said Larson. “Obviously, it never happened, but I wanted to play college basketball in general. It was always a goal of mine. I wanted to stick with it and achieve that.”

Coming out of high school, she led the Montana Class A in scoring with over 21 points per game.

Her only three offers were from Bismarck State, Casper College and Sheridan College.

“I really wanted to go to Sheridan, because my sister was going to school there and I didn’t want to be away from her,” Larson said. “I figured it was best to go to Casper though. It was the best move for me.”

She was the sixth-man in her first season at Sheridan, and she started in her final year, allowing her to excel and be recruited by Dickinson State.

In her first season as a Blue Hawk last winter, she finished second team all-conference in the NSAA.

This season, she leads the Blue Hawks in minutes averaging 30 per game. She also leads Dickinson State with 13.6 points per game with a 3-point percentage that is over 36%.

Just because this is her second year as a Blue Hawk doesn’t mean there haven’t been changes.

This is head coach Eric Nelson’s first year after arriving from conference foe Presentation College.

Larson credits her ability to adapt to a successful senior year.

“It was hard (the transition to a new coach this year.) I was upset with the ordeal,” she said. “But being a college basketball player you have to learn how to adjust. I was able to do that and I am happy with Coach Nelson.”

Larson hopes to bring a lot of wins this conference season as Dickinson State is fully into NSAA play.

This weekend, the team travels to Viterbo in Wisconsin and Waldorf in Iowa.

After she graduates, she wants to go back home to Miles City and work for her dad at his insurance agency. She is on her way to that goal — she’s already a licensed insurance agent. Though that is her career path, she doesn’t want to leave basketball behind. She hopes to coach a junior high team and still be a part of the sport she loves.