Beaver Dam High School senior Natalie Jens has committed to play college basketball at NCAA Division Two Minnesota State Moorhead. Jens tells DailyDodge.com that she didn’t know much about the Dragons before head coach Karla Nelson and her staff began recruiting her, but once she visited the campus it was an easy choice. She says the Moorhead campus was great and the coaches and players made it feel like a home away from home. Jens says that’s Moorhead’s program felt very similar to Beaver Dam’s and she feels like she can succeed there.
The recruitment process for Jens began between her 8th grade and freshman year, and she received her first scholarship offer before her junior campaign. Jens says she visited a handful of schools including; Michigan Tech, St. Thomas, Minnesota State Mankato, Youngstown State, Bradley and Illinois State before deciding Minnesota State Moorhead was the best fit for her. She also had scholarship offers from Minnesota State Mankato, Michigan Tech and William Penn. She says that making a decision on her post high school career before her senior season wasn’t necessarily something she needed to do, but it’s nice to have it out of the way so she can just concentrate on the high school season.
The Golden Beaver senior averaged 13.8 points per game during her junior campaign and was named to the All-Badger North 1st Team. She was also named Honorable Mention Division Two All-State by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association for the 2019-20 season. Beaver Dam had won three straight WIAA Division 2 state championships and reached the state semifinals before the season was cancelled because of COVID-19.
Jens hasn’t made a final decision, but right now is leaning toward studying physical therapy at Minnesota State Moorhead.
Minnesota State Moorhead is an NCAA Division II university and is located on the Minnesota-North Dakota state lines in suburban Fargo. Three women from Wisconsin were on the 2019-20 Dragons squad that went 17-13 overall and 12-10 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Dragons have won two of the last four NSIC women’s basketball conference championships.
Click the link below to hear a complete interview with Natalie Jens
If you have a question about this story or have an idea for a future local sports story, please email Wade Bates at [email protected]
Photo Credit: Lisa Gutknecht