Bison women's basketball: Samuelson's career draws to a close
The high school career was something dreams are made of and Ashley Samuelson had it all. She'll always be the Queen of Underwood girls basketball. She rose to prominence as a junior with an incredible 84-point, 32-rebound performance over three g...
The high school career was something dreams are made of and Ashley Samuelson had it all. She'll always be the Queen of Underwood girls basketball.
She rose to prominence as a junior with an incredible
84-point, 32-rebound performance over three games during the Minnesota Class A state tournament. She led Underwood to a runner-up finish. AAU basketball followed and so did the recruiters, Many, many college recruiters had an interest in the all-time prep steals leader in state history.
Tonight, Samuelson's college career closes at North Dakota State and to say she's had her share of obstacles is an understatement.
Two ACL surgeries to the same left knee, transfer issues and through all of that, she essentially played under four different coaching staffs.
She'll have none of that.
"It's been a growing experience," she said. "I'm appreciative of everything. When it comes to the end, I'm going to be satisfied with my college experience and not have any regrets and that's something I'm really happy about. I've been through a lot - it's been quite a journey."
Her story has been well documented. She signed with Colorado State, but saw a change of coaching staffs before setting foot on campus.
After a tumultuous freshman year, she was one of four CSU players to have her scholarship pulled.
"It didn't work out," she said last week.
Even before that, she was considering transferring to NDSU, which was a finalist in her choice of schools. She did come home - Underwood is just 70 miles southeast of Fargo - and the table was set for three years as a Bison.
Two problems delayed her return. She tore her ACL in successive years, but was told she would probably receive a medical hardship, thus preserving her three years of eligibility.
It wasn't until the middle of last year, however, when she found out she only had two years. Essentially, only two full years of college basketball will end at home tonight against IUPUI.
"I kind of feel like a sophomore sometimes," Samuelson said. "Technically, I only count it as my second year of playing so it's kind of hard to see that it will come to an end."
Both of Samuelson's injury-saddled years at NDSU were under former head coach Amy Ruley. She's grown into Carolyn DeHoff's system in the two years DeHoff has been in Fargo.
"It's tough in terms of learning different systems and the way of doing things," DeHoff said.
Samuelson has saved her best year for last. She's averaging 10.4 points and a team-leading 5.8 rebounds. The plan is to graduate with a physical therapy degree and go on to graduate school.
"Like I said, it's been quite the roller coaster," Samuelson said. "But I'm really happy to be back home and being able to play in front of my family and friends."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546