GILLETTE, Wyo.--Gillette College Pronghorns Alicia Carline and Freya Newton, both from Palmerston North, New Zealand, have signed with Big Sky Conference schools for next season.
Carline will be playing for Portland State and Newton at Idaho State.
Newton suffered a season-ending acl injury in the first half of the first game of this year, a day after she committed to Idaho State. The coaching staff said they would still grant her a scholarship next year. In return, Newton is expected to have three years of eligibility at ISU.
“[Head] coach Seton [Sobolewski] was really great about just kinda accepting the injury. You know, it's such a common injury that he knows how to deal with it,” Newton mentioned.
Newton said her recovery was going well and expects to be ready to go for next year. She liked how Pocatello, the city that Idaho State is located, was “a little bigger than Gillette, but still had that small-town feel.”
Idaho State and Portland State play against each other a couple times a season. Which means the two women will see each other on the hardwood in different uniforms.
Newton said, “I've played with and against Alicia for most of my basketball life. So, you know, I couldn't be happier that she's in the same conference as me. I'd rather be playing with her, but being able to play against her is pretty cool.”
Carline added that playing against each other will be “interesting-I don't know. It's going to be weird.”
For Alicia, who will have two years of eligibility left, the city of Portland “felt right.” she loved the coaches and campus, as well. Alicia made sure to add that “they had some pretty good sushi, which is pretty high up there!”
Head Coach Will Rider of Gillette College was proud of Alicia and Freya continuing their playing careers.
“[Alicia and Freya] have worked hard to get where they are at. Not only are they good basketball players, but they're good students and they're good people, It's a good fit for both of them to go to their respective schools that they've signed at.”
Rider has had a number of players continue on to four-year programs. Last season, Keke Wright and Christina Davis signed to play for the University of Alaska Anchorage. With Newton and Carline joining the recruited ranks, Rider mentioned how it is a “win-win” for the players and a growing Gillette College basketball program.
“We get to promote them now and at the same time they get to move on next year and they have their next two years paid for,” Rider added.