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Tom Miller / Forum News Service, Published August 02 2013

Fergus Falls’ Strand picks UND for women's basketball

GRAND FORKS – The University of North Dakota women’s basketball team received a verbal commitment last week from a proven prep scorer.

Fergus Falls (Minn.) guard Bailey Strand became North Dakota’s first known commitment of the 2014 recruiting class.

The 5-foot-10 Strand set the

single-season scoring record at Pelican Rapids as a sophomore and then set the single-season scoring record at Fergus Falls after transferring as a junior.

Strand, the daughter of Fergus Falls girls basketball coach Brad Strand, will be a senior this winter.

“She’s a scorer,” Brad Strand said. “She shoots it well from the outside. She also works very hard – that would be her big strength. She puts a lot of time into her game. She has a strong desire to get better.”

UND became interested in Bailey in the late spring and early summer. Brad said she was convinced by the North Dakota sales pitch.

“She weighed out some options, but after looking at the school, the staff, the players, the facilities … it became pretty clear going into July,” Brad said.

Bailey plays on the summer league circuit with the Metro Stars, the same program that produced UND’s 2013 recruit Leah Szabla of Providence Academy.

Brad was the boys basketball coach at Pelican Rapids, so Bailey played there through her sophomore season. Bailey played varsity basketball as a seventh-grader and was the conference’s most valuable player by her sophomore season.

Brad took the girls’ coaching gig, as well as an administrative role, at Fergus Falls last year. In her first season at Fergus Falls, Bailey was named all-conference and went over the 1,000-point mark for her high school career. Bailey set the school scoring record with 588 points. The Strands also led Fergus Falls to its second straight Minnesota Class 3A, Section 8 title.

“It’s not about scoring points for her, though,” Brad said. “It’s about being a team player. She’s a coach’s kid, so she’s been scouting games and coming to practices since she was in kindergarten.”

Miller writes for the Grand Forks Herald