Rider's Hislop Signs With Midland University

Rider's Sammy Hislop made her college decision Tuesday, but a bit more went into her decision than does for many athletes, since she played two sports at a high level and wasn't sure which to pursue.

"At the end of the year, I thought one of them was going to end," Hislop said. "And it didn't."

The new Rider High school graduate has excelled for years on both the basketball court and the softball diamond.

She holds many school records in basketball, and every Lady Raider softball pitching record.

The only question has been: What to play in college?

"Through the years, on both of the sports I've been really back-and-forth," explained Hislop. 
"I believe my sophomore year I was like, 'I want to play softball,' and my junior year I was like, 'I want to play basketball.'"

But it turned out that she didn't have to choose.

She signed to play basketball at Midland University, an NAIA school in Nebraska, and asked her head basketball coach there if there was a chance she could also play softball.

Explained Hislop, "She came back and was like, 'Yeah I think we can play both sports.'"

Her coaches at Rider are certainly happy for Sammy, who has always shown dedication to her games.

"A lot of people don't know, Sammy didn't really start pitching until freshman year," said Alisha Crouch, Rider's Softball coach. "And she's one of the top kids in the state. So in the last four years, she's just developed in great leaps and bounds."

"She completely kind of transformed her game to help the team get better," said Ramsey Ghazal, Rider's Girls' Basketball coach. "She did it, and she sacrificed and the result was 24 wins and second place in district."

Sammy missed time in basketball season with a sprained ankle, but now she's healthy and ready to play again.

"I'm pretty excited to know that I'm able to get back out on the court again and have a full year--hopefully--under my belt again," Hislop said. "And four years should be a fun time."

At Midland University, Hislop will play basketball under Hall-of-Fame coach Joanne Bracker, and softball under former NAIA-SCA president Keith Kramme.