Hammer among Wildcat women’s basketball recruits


Wayne State head women’s basketball coach Chris Kielsmeier has announced the signings of three student-athletes during the NCAA early signing period that will continue their academic and athletic careers at Wayne State College in 2018-19.

Signing national letters of intent to play for the Wildcats are Isabelle Gradwell from Marshalltown, Iowa, Kylie Hammer of Wayne and Autumn Mlinar of Maple Grove, Minn.

“We are extremely excited about this recruiting class,” stated Kielsmeier. “We feel like every player is a great fit for our style of play. They will be able to provide us with more versatility moving forward in the future. All three players can really score and will be great defenders in our zone. They are all high character kids that are a perfect fit for Wayne State College as students and athletes.”

Gradwell is a 6-foot guard/forward from West Marshall High School in Iowa where she is a four-year starter. Last season, she averaged 17.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.4 blocks per game to earn Iowa Class 3A second-team All-State honors from the Iowa Newspaper Association and third-team All-State accolades from the Iowa Coaches Association to go with All-Region and All-North Iowa Cedar League honors. Gradwell also excels in track and field where she was a state finalist in the Class 2A 100-meter hurdles.

“Isabelle is a versatile player that can play several different positions,” said Kielsmeier. “She has great size and can play the top or bottom of our zone. Offensively, she can create for herself and teammates and can shoot the ball really well. We will be able to use her many different ways in our system.”

Hammer is a 5-foot-6 point guard from Wayne High School where she is a multi-sport standout in volleyball, basketball and track and field. As a junior, Hammer averaged 20.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game to earn Lincoln Journal Star Class C-1 second-team All-State honors and Norfolk Daily New Elite 8 All-Area Team. She already surpassed the 1,000-point mark and was Nebraska’s all-class leading scorer last season and is a three-time All-Mid States Conference selection. In track and field, Hammer is a six-time state medalist that includes a second place finish in the long jump (17-2 1/4”) and sixth place finish in the triple jump (34-10 1/4) last spring as a junior. Hammer is also a two-time All-Mid State Conference first-team selection in volleyball for the Blue Devils.

“Kylie is a true scoring point guard,” said Kielsmeier. “She has the quickness to push the ball in transition and create for herself or her teammates. She also has a very effective, consistent pull up jumper from mid-range that is extremely difficult to defend.”

Mlinar is a 5-foot-11 wing from Maple Grove High School in Minnesota. A three-year starter in basketball, Mlinar averaged 12.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game during her high school career and was a first-team All-Northwest Suburban Conference selection. She has also played club ball for North Tartan and was named to the Super 100 Seniors list by Breakdown USA.

“Autumn is another versatile player that can play multiple positions,” remarked Kielsmeier. “She plays hard and for her size can create a lot of match-up problems for teams. She is a player that has a quick first step and knows how to score in many different ways. She is another player that can shoot the ball from deep.”

The Wayne Herald

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