(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Introducing his six new players for the 2022-23 season on Monday, Montana State University Billings women’s basketball head coach Kevin Woodin announced the latest letter of intent signings.
“Alisha and I are very excited about our 2022-2023 recruiting class,” said Woodin, who is in his 18th season in charge of the program. “All six players are outstanding student-athletes with great character who have excelled in their classrooms and communities. Recruiting during a pandemic was challenging to say the least, however we are pleased to have this great group join us in the fall of 2022. We got to see all of them play in person at our MSUB summer basketball camps the past two summers. They are talented and skilled players and each of them impressed us as a person too. Alisha and I believe collectively they can become an amazing Yellowjacket women’s basketball recruiting class. They represent all offensive and defensive positions so it will only increase our depth and talent for next fall’s team.”
Billings West High School
The local signing in the group, Grossman is a four-year letterwinner for the Golden Bears playing as a wing under head coach Charlie Johnson. Grossman, who is amid her senior season on the court, was a first-team all-state selection as a junior in 2020-21 and is a four-time academic all-state selection.
A multi-sport athlete, the 5-foot-11 Grossman also earned four letters as an outside hitter on the volleyball team, under the guidance of Woodin’s former player Monica (Grimsrud) Smith. Grossman was a three-time all-state volleyball selection and served as team captain. She will also compete in track and field for the third time this spring, where she was an all-state selection as a jumper and sprinter. Grossman earned the Billings West Heisman Scholarship award.
Coach Woodin on Grossman: “Kaitlin is a competitor and winner in every way, and comes from a winning high school program in Billings. She has a motor that doesn’t stop. I believe Kaitlin’s length, versatility, and athleticism will help us right away. She impresses me with how active she is on the boards and how she can guard any position on the court. I have known Kaitlin for years and I am really looking forward to coaching her.”
Grossman on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I love the coaching staff and team, and they offer an academic program that will help me accomplish my goals.”
Winifred High School
Another two-sport athlete, Heggem competed in volleyball for four seasons and is in her senior year on the hardwood for the Outlaws. She was a first-team all-state and all-conference selection as a sophomore and junior, and a second-team all-state pick as a freshman. Standing at 6-foot, she serves as team captain for both sports as well.
Heggem led Winifred to a co-state title during her sophomore season, after a runner-up finish in the Class C state championship her freshman year. She also helped her team to a third-place finish at state during her junior year. Heggem will rejoin fellow Winifred graduate Dyauni Boyce, who is currently in her second season with the Yellowjackets.
Coach Woodin on Heggem: “I was so happy when Madeline decided to come to MSUB. She will join her former teammate and great friend Dyauni Boyce at MSUB. Madeline is an effective post player both in the paint and from the perimeter. She has played a lot of high post and perimeter offense at Winifred and I expect her to contribute right away. She has the ability to score from multiple levels and is a very good passer. Madeline’s teams at Winifred have been extremely successful. She plays with great intensity and will be a welcome addition to our program next fall.”
Heggem on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I love the atmosphere. I really like the campus, and I like Billings. I have some family members who live in Billings, so it will be nice to be so close to them. Academically, MSUB is a good choice for me. Additionally, I think MSUB has an amazing basketball program, and I look forward to being part of it while attaining my college education.”
Hellgate High School
Sayler is wrapping up her prep basketball career with the Knights and will bring another 5-foot-11 presence to MSUB’s lineup next year. She is a two-time first-team all-state selection and is an all-conference honoree as well. Sayler also earned academic all-state recognition in each of her first three seasons.
Coach Woodin on Sayler: “Bailee has a great I.Q. for the game and is a very skilled player. Like Madeline, she can play close to and away from the basket. She is an excellent shooter and passer and rebounds consistently. Bailee’s Hellgate teams have been dominant in the Western AA during her career. She will compete for meaningful minutes early in her career and her versatility will help us.”
Sayler on choosing MSUB: “Billings was like a second home to me growing up, so when the opportunity came to play here it was hard to pass up. The coaches and all the girls were very welcoming, and they made it feel even more like home.”
Hawley High School
Kaylie Crabtree is completing her fourth season as a varsity letterwinner for the Nuggets, playing primarily as a guard. She earned Heart Of Lakes all-conference recognition in each of her first three seasons, and is a three-year honor roll selection. Among Crabtree’s top performances was a 29-point effort on March 19, 2021 at the Class 2A Section 8 playoffs.
A multi-sport athlete, the 5-foot-8 Crabtree is also a two-year letterwinner as a shortstop on the Hawley softball team. She was a two-time all-conference selection, and in 2021 was an all-section pick while helping her team to the state playoffs.
Crabtree on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because of the family atmosphere I felt as soon as I stepped on campus. Everything felt right when I committed here, and the incredible coaching staff of the women’s basketball program made my decision really easy. Coach Woodin and Coach Breen made me feel part of the MSUB family right away. They are extremely successful coaches on the court, but even more amazing people off the court. There are no words to describe the excitement and happiness I have to join this amazing MSUB community and program. MSUB has genuine and polite people, a beautiful campus, and amazing academic opportunities provided to all the students. MSUB has everything I ever wanted in a college, and I can’t wait to continue my academic and basketball career here.”
Hawley High School
Like her twin sister, Kylie Crabtree competes in both basketball and softball at Hawley High School. The 5-foot-8 guard is a three-time all-conference selection in basketball and is a three-year member of the honor roll. Among her top performances on the hardwood was a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double in the team’s state playoff win on March 19, 2021.
In softball, Crabtree was an all-state selection and earned Defensive Player of the Year for her efforts as a third baseman. He helped the team to the state playoffs and was an all-conference selection as well.
Crabtree on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because it felt like home the first time I stepped foot on campus, and I just knew I was where I wanted to be. Everyone on campus that I have interacted with made everything just feel right. The classroom size is perfect and the campus is so beautiful with the gorgeous view of the Rimrocks. Everyone in the MSUB community that I met and interacted with was so friendly, kind-hearted, and amazing. There is a special bond with Coach Woodin and Coach Breen as they’ve done an amazing job communicating and keeping in touch from Day 1. They are such wonderful people off the court and I can’t wait to be coached by them on the court. I’m so excited to start the next chapter in my life at MSUB.”
Coach Woodin on the Crabtree twins: “’I’m excited to have Kaylie and Kylie join our women’s basketball program. They are very skilled and fundamentally sound guards. Both of them played very well at our 2020 summer camp in Billings. They play multiple guard positions and are very smart with the basketball and play well together. I was impressed with how interested and determined they were to come to Montana to play in our program and I’m excited to coach them.”
West Yellowstone, Montana
West Yellowstone High School
A four-sport athlete for the Wolverines, Collins is a 5-foot-6 guard currently in her fourth varsity season on the hardwood. She is a two-time all-state selection and a four-time all-conference pick, while making honor roll all four of her prep seasons. Collins’ top performances include a career-high 29 points.
Collins was a two-time all-state selection in track and field, and holds her school record in both the 100 meters and 200 meters. She also competed in volleyball for two seasons as an outside hitter and blocker, and in cross country for one season.
Coach Woodin on Collins: “Emmie impressed me at our camp this summer. She has great speed and likes to compete. Emmie is an excellent perimeter shooter with a great first step and is very coachable. She comes from a solid Montana high school program and she will fit in nicely to our team next year.”
Collins on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because of the family-oriented atmosphere as well as the small community feeling. You’re not just a number at MSUB, and I absolutely cherish that.”
The Yellowjackets (6-5, 1-1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) are in action this week with an exhibition game at NCAA DI Montana State University on Thursday in Bozeman before hosting Rocky Mountain College on Saturday at Alterowitz Gym. Live coverage for this week’s games will be available online here. [msubsports.com]