UND women's basketball transfer from DePaul comes full circle to the school she first visited in recruiting

Daninger, a native of Andover, Minn., is a graduate transfer with two seasons of eligibility remaining.

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Fighting Hawks women's basketball co-captain Julia Fleecs slaps hands with teammates during player introductions prior to Sunday's season opener home matchup against Marquette. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

When Jolene Daninger was an eighth-grader, her first college basketball recruiting visit was to Grand Forks.

She eventually chose to play in the Big East at DePaul in Chicago, but her playing career is now coming full circle.

"I really liked it then, but I chose DePaul and loved the city feel," Daninger said. "Coming back around when Coach Mal (Bernhard) reached out to me after I was in the transfer portal, I thought this would be cool. It's closer to home so my family could come to games. It also gives me a different college feel, which is something I was attracted to. I've been in Chicago and loved it, but going to Grand Forks, it would be a different college feel where I'd get to experience campus life and going to football and hockey games. It's a small-town feel."

The former finalist for Minnesota Miss Basketball comes to UND as a graduate transfer with two seasons of eligibility remaining.

At DePaul, Daninger played in 68 games in four seasons -- missing her entire first year with an injury. DePaul advanced to the 2020-21 WNIT before falling to Drake in a consolation game.


Daninger averaged 9.5 minutes per game and averaged 0.8 points per game this past year. As a sophomore, she scored in double figures three times including a career-high 16 points against Arkansas State and 14 points against Miami (Ohio).

Daninger, a two-time Big East all-academic pick, holds the Andover High School record for points in a single season (490), single-game points (32) and single-game 3-pointers (seven). She also holds school records for 3-pointers (161) and assists (219).

Daninger will be asked to play multiple guard spots for the Fighting Hawks including point guard.

"If I need to take it up the court, I'm comfortable doing that," said Daninger, who played the point in high school and AAU.

The Fighting Hawks will have a new look next season, the first year of Mallory Bernhard as head coach without the interim label.

Starters Mikayla Reinke and Julia Fleecs have graduated and aren't expected to return, while starters Jaclyn Jarnot and Megan Zander both opted to transfer to the NCAA Division II level.

UND will bring in seven new players including Daninger, Texas Tech transfer Andrayah Adams and Detroit Mercy transfer Sammiyah Hoskin.

The prep additions include guard Jodi Anderson of Centennial High School, Allie McCarthy of Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Grafton's Carlee Sieben and Strathvoy, Ontario, center Miranda VanderWal.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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