By Ray Hamill — After two years honing her talents on the community college basketball courts, CR’s Bree Northern is taking her game to a four-year school, announcing on Tuesday that she has signed a letter of commitment to play at Simpson University.
Northern, a 2018 Arcata High graduate, played a pivotal role on this year’s Corsairs’ championship winning team, providing stability and direction as the team’s starting point guard.
And for Northern, the move to Simpson is one she’s had on her radar for some time.
“Actually, it’s the school I really wanted to go to,” she said. “I love Redding, I love the area, and I have family over there. It’s away from home, but it’s not too far. It feels like a good place to go.”
CR head coach Jain Tuey believes the NAIA program is a perfect fit for Northern.
“I think it’s a good level for her,” Tuey said. “I think she’ll be able to go in and make an impact right away.
“She’s going to fit in just fine over there. She’s a very stable, smart basketball player.”
This past season, Northern averaged 9.6 points a game and 3.5 assists, the latter a team best.
But her presence was felt in more ways than that, something the coach feels was evident when Northern missed a few games through injury before Christmas.
“We didn’t have the same chemistry and consistency when she wasn’t out there,” Tuey said.
The former Arcata Tiger is the latest in a long line of former Big 5 basketball players taking her game to a four-year program, including a number of players from the recent Tigers dynasty, which won six straight conference titles from 2012 to 2018.
And Northern feels her time at Arcata, where she was a three-year varsity player, was invaluable in helping prepare her for the college game.
“It was great there,” she said. “Dusty (Scofield) was a great coach. He definitely knows how to make practice like a college practice. It was always intense and it definitely helped develop me.”
Northern, whose older sister Sophie recently closed out her college basketball career at Sonoma State, also praised her coaches at CR — Tuey and assistant coach Darren Turpin — for helping her develop her game and preparing her for the jump to a four-year program.
She added she will always remember her time at Redwoods.
“Just going as far as we did and winning the conference championship, that was awesome,” Northern said. “That’s an experience I’ll never forget.”
The former Arcata player follows in the footsteps of former Eureka standout Kayla Bonomini, who was a junior at Simpson this past season after transferring from Shasta College last summer.
The Red Hawks finished 7-22 this past season.