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Dickinson junior commits to Boise State

DICKINSON, N.D. - Leon Rice was the first college basketball coach to take an interest in Joe Hanstad - and the Dickinson High standout remembered that.

DICKINSON, N.D. - Leon Rice was the first college basketball coach to take an interest in Joe Hanstad - and the Dickinson High standout remembered that.

Naturally, when Rice left his assistant coach position at Gonzaga to become Boise State's head coach, getting Hanstad to join him became a top priority.

So when Rice offered Hanstad a scholarship to play men's basketball for the Broncos, there was little hesitation on the junior's part.

Hanstad verbally committed to play for Boise State late last week, becoming Rice's first recruit as the Broncos' head coach.

"He's the college coach I've known the longest," said Hanstad, who will join the Broncos in the 2011-12 season. "I've known him since the eighth grade, so I've got a pretty good relationship with him already. When he took the job, he called me immediately after he got it and offered me. That was kind of a big thing for me."

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Hanstad said he turned down offers from UND, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Gonzaga, Montana State, Colorado State and Minnesota, among others. He said Kansas was also showing interest.

The 6-foot-4 guard led Class A scorers with a 23.3 average this season and averaged 7.2 rebounds a game. He was the North Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year as a sophomore and has been a unanimous two-time all-state selection.

Hanstad's seemingly out-of-nowhere commitment comes as a bit of a shock - he hasn't yet visited Boise State's campus and the school wasn't even on his radar until Rice took over there.

The Dickinson Press and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

Related Topics: DICKINSON HIGH SCHOOLPREP SPORTS
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