Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women’s basketball coach Paula Buscher completed her recruiting class Monday with the signings of two more players, including Okawville senior Madison Hackstadt.
Hackstadt, a 6-foot forward, averaged 15.3 points and 5.4 rebounds last season as the Rockets finished 23-7.
“Madison is a multisport athlete who has good 3-point range and will provide length on the perimeter,” Buscher said.
Buscher also signed 5-5 guard Mikala Hall, of Danville, on Monday. Hackstadt and Hall joined a class that already included Mikia Keith, Kai Koehler and Kelsie Williams.
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“We have five high-character individuals who also are very talented basketball players,” Buscher said. “They are not only leaders in their programs but also great teammates.”
Hackstadt was a third-team all-state selection last season by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
“What led me to SIUE was how confident Coach Buscher was about me right from the start,” Hackstadt said. “She was one of the first coaches to contact me and seemed passionate about having me on her team every time we spoke. The college itself isn’t too far from home, yet far enough. I’m looking forward to meeting new people the most.”
Hackstadt said she feels fortunate to be able to continue playing basketball at the Division I level. The Cougars plays in the Ohio Valley Conference.
“Coming from a small town, that doesn’t happen too often,” Hackstadt said. “I’m also looking forward to being able to play basketball for four more years. I love the game and am very excited to be able to continue. I want to improve my ballhandling skills a lot this year, especially (with) my left hand.”
Okawville coach Michelle Hasheider-Burianek is confident Hackstadt will fit nicely with the Cougars.
“I am extremely excited for Madison to continue her basketball career at SIUE,” Hasheider-Burianek said. “Madison’s skill set will complement SIUE’s style of play. She’s an athletic basketball player who has a tenacious work ethic and will compete every day on the court.
“Madison is a well-rounded student-athlete who loves the game of basketball. SIUE fans will appreciate what Madison brings to the table, as she is an asset to any athletic program. I look forward to watching her develop at the next level at SIUE.”
Joby Crum, Hackstadt’s AAU coach with the Illinois Predators, said signing Hackstadt is “a steal” for SIUE.
“She had a big summer of travel basketball,” Crum said. “The relationship SIUE developed with her at the beginning before other schools figured out how good she was ended up being the difference.”
David Wilhelm: @DavidMWilhelm