North Dakota State University women’s basketball coach Carolyn DeHoff announced Nov. 14 that 6-foot wing/forward Hannah Breske (Casselton, N.D./ Central Cass H.S.), 6-foot-1 forward Emily Spier (Buffalo, Minn./ Buffalo H.S.) and 5-foot-7 guard Briahna (Bree) Whatman (Beaconsfield, Victoria, Australia/ Rowville Secondary School) have signed national letters of intent to play basketball and continue their education at NDSU.
“This is the busiest time of the year for us but also the most exciting time of the year. It’s the start of our basketball season coupled with the signing of some terrific student-athletes,” said DeHoff.
“This class is a fun group for our Bison family. They are talented basketball players that have proven to be successful. We are fortunate to add another North Dakota native, Hannah Breske. She provides length on the perimeter with a dynamic skill set. Emily (Spier) adds power and toughness to our forward/big position,” DeHoff continued.
“And why not add another from down under (Australia). Bree (Whatman) gives us an explosive combo guard that has played at a high level and will elevate our guard play. We’re thrilled with the course our recruiting has gone and look forward to seeing these young women in a Bison uniform.”
Breske enters her senior season already having reached 1,000 career points and was a second team all-state, two-time all-district and all-conference performer on the hardwood for Central Cass High School and head coach Ryan Mears. As a junior, Breske averaged 12.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
“Hannah (Breske) is a very versatile player. She can handle the ball, play on the perimeter, and she can post up. She has a lot of natural skill, but she has also put in the time it takes to get to the level she is at. Hannah is also an unselfish player. She is good at setting up her teammates for an open shot,” Mears said.
Breske is a three-sport athlete participating in volleyball and softball for the Squirrels. During her time as a Squirrel, Breske has led her teams to Class B Championship games in both basketball and softball, finishing as runner-up. In 2011, the Squirrels won the Class B Volleyball State Championship.
“Ever since I was a little girl going to Bison camps and watching them on TV, I wanted to be a Bison. A dream come true,” said Breske.
Breske is the daughter of Alan and Barb Breske.
Spier, an all-conference and honorable mention all-state performer, averaged 14.1 points and 6.1 rebounds as a junior for Buffalo High School and head coach Scot Sorenson.
“Emily is one of those young people that has figured out how to blend effort in with her natural gifts and abilities,” said Sorenson.
“Her hard work, strength, and intelligence have allowed her to excel academically as well as athletically in various sports throughout high school. The focus she placed on hoops has helped expand her game to new heights.”
A multi-sport athlete, Spier has led the Bison in volleyball, softball, basketball, and track and field. Emily holds a number of school records in volleyball, and is No. 3 all-time in block assists and No. 4 in total blocks for a single-season. She has also broken into the record books for a 39-feet, 2 3/4-inches shot put.
“NDSU felt like home. I loved the school and the coaches and it wouldn’t feel right if I couldn’t say, ‘once a Bison always a Bison’,” Spier said of her decision to attend NDSU.
Emily is the daughter of Ron and Lisa Spier.
Whatman will be the second athlete to join the Bison from Australia, joining freshman Marena Whittle. Bree was a starting five member of the Dandenong Rangers D-League (19-4) team that successfully defended their state title in August this year against a Nunawading Spectre team that included current Bison freshman Marena Whittle. In the Victorian D-League competition this year, Whatman averaged 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds. She recently led her high school team to the State Secondary Schools Championship title, scoring 13 points.
“I have had the good fortune of coaching Bree for the past two seasons in the Dandenong Rangers D-League program. Over that time, Bree has developed her game at both the one and two guard positions to a level in which she is now widely considered one of the premier guards in the D-League competition and a vital component of our 2011 & 2012 Championships,” said her D-League head coach Paul Flynn.
“In 2012, Bree also gained valuable experience at both SEABL and WNBL levels where she competed at training and in games against Australia’s top guards. Bree possesses a solid perimeter game with an excellent shot and a sound ability to distribute the ball to the post,” he continued.
“I wish Bree every success as she embarks on the next chapter in her basketball career at North Dakota State University. I believe that Bree will continue her development in the Bison program, but know that North Dakota State has also added a valuable piece to their team for the years to come."
Bree is the daughter of Tony and Christine Whatman.