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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 14 2012

Shanley basketball standout Jacobson one of several to sign with NDSU athletics

FARGO – When Saul Phillips first saw A.J. Jacobson play basketball, he was in elementary school attending the North Dakota State summer basketball camp. Jacobson wasn’t very tall.

“He went up to my waist,” said the head NDSU coach.

A few years later, when Jacobson began developing into a prospect, he was about as tall as the sub-6 foot Phillips. Now it’s not even close, and on Wednesday, the 6-foot-6 Fargo Shanley senior guard made his letter of intent with NDSU official.

“You can’t know a kid better than we know this kid,” Phillips said. “His growth both physically and in his play has paralleled this program.”

He is the son of former NDSU women’s basketball All-American Pat (Smykowski) Jacobson. The Bison have been recruiting A.J. Jacobson for a while now, but Phillips said his performance at summer AAU tournaments was impressive.

“He’s got good friends on this team already,” Phillips said. “I like the leadership role he has taken. There’s a world of upside, he does a little bit of everything.”

Jacobson was one of several athletes to sign letters of intent in several Bison programs on Wednesday. Central Cass forward Hannah Breske made it official with the women’s basketball team.

“She is a very versatile player,” said Bison head coach Carolyn DeHoff. “She can handle the ball, play on the perimeter and 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.”

The softball team made it official with Fargo North outfielder Courtney Johnson. Head coach Darren Mueller said Johnson will redshirt her first year because of the abundance of outfielders already on the team.

“She brings a lot of speed,” Mueller said.

He said Johnson’s performance with a Twin Cities club team against Big 12 Conference pitching recruits was impressive.

Baseball signed six high school players and two junior college players including catcher Danny Palmiscno from Grand Forks Red River, the same high school that produced NDSU volleyball signee Hadley Steffen, an outside hitter.

Complete recruiting list in Scoreboard, Page D5.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia