Newcastle’s Ostenson commits to BHSU

By: 
Sonja Karp, NLJ Sports Editor

Chad, Jaylen and Marti Ostenson are all smiles as the senior signed on the dotted line and committed to Black Hills State University to play basketball next year. 

Photo by Sonja Karp/NLJ

From gym rat to NCAA Division II recruit, Jaylen Ostenson has committed herself to her dream of playing collegiate basketball.

Next season, Ostenson will be wearing the green and gold of Black Hills State University and playing for head coach Mark Nore as a Yellow Jacket. 

Ostenson was proactive in securing a post secondary spot on the hardwood for quite some time. She and Chad Ostenson, her high school coach — and also her dad — had been reaching out to schools from Division I to NAIA trying to find just the right fit. 

“My dad was really helpful in the process. I’d tell him where I was interested, and he sent out emails to them,” Ostenson explained. “We sent emails everywhere because what’s the worst that can happen?”

Playing AAU through the years gave Jaylen the opportunity to be in contact with a variety of places that she wouldn’t ordinarily have been able to through just playing high school ball. The connections she made and the experiences she had through her participation in AAU expanded the scope of her search.

“We went to some camps and did some college visits, and she had offers from several places,” began Chad Ostenson. “It was a pretty cool process, and she got to meet some pretty neat people like Becky Hammond.”

In considering all her options, Jaylen made her decision official as she signed with BHSU last Wednesday, Nov, 9.

“I had previously committed verbally back on Aug. 1,” she began. “I had talked to quite a few schools, but the process wasn’t really stressful, because I trusted that God would help me end up where I was supposed to end up. I really believe that Spearfish is where I am meant to be.”

A big part of her decision rested in the fact that she was able to meet coaches as well as the team.

“I love Coach Nore and the rest of the coaching staff, and I really liked the girls as well,” she nodded. “Spearfish feels like home, and I really felt like it was the right decision.” 

As far as the role she will be playing, Jaylen is not yet sure. At 5 feet, 10 inches tall, she is a versatile player who has played every position as a Lady Dogie.

“You have to earn everything and we haven’t talked a lot about my role next season, but I’m tall enough that I can probably play 1-4,” she mused. “I’m not big enough to be a post and I’m probably not a point guard either, so I’m thinking I’ll probably play the two or three.”

Signing early and officially guaranteeing a spot at BHSU has the added bonus of taking the onus of securing collegiate play off Jaylen’s plate as the 2022-2023 basketball season approaches.

“It’s nice to be signed and to know where I’m going before the season gets underway,” she admitted. “These last three years, I’ve had to have college in the back of my mind because the process starts early. So now this year, it’s done and I’m excited, but I can simply focus on playing my last year of high school ball and enjoy it.”

As her coach and her father, Chad was also pleased with Jaylen’s decision.

“She’s known Coach Nore since she was in second grade, so Spearfish is a great fit
for her,” he nodded. “We’re proud of her, and it’s great to see her dreams come true. We’re excited to watch her play next year.”

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