Strand to Minot Beavers

By ERIC A. HOWALD} Of the Keizertimes When Derek Handley was head coach of another Greater Valley Conference girls basketball program, he dreaded going head-to-head with McNary High School. “They had this 6-foot-2, sophomore post with skills that I knew would cause us trouble,” said Handley, who is now head coach of the Celtics. The post in question was Reina Strand, who signed a letter of intent to play with the Minot State University Beavers at a ceremony Monday, May 23. MSU is a Division II school based in Minot, N.D. “I really liked the coach and got along with the girls in the program, and they have an athletic training program, which is what I want to study,” said Strand. Strand’s path to playing college ball wasn’t as simple as some others. Most college-bound players are recruited in their junior years, but Strand was stuck riding the bench as a junior, the result of a “devastating” knee injury. However, rather than sit out entirely, Strand found ways to stay involved. She had perfect attendance at practices and games when she wasn’t at physical therapy appointments and even started coaching the younger girls in the program. “Her work ethic is unmatched,” Handley said. “And staying involved helped her learn the game from another point of view.” While it spoke volumes about her character, Strand was still in the lurch...

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