Out of Left Field with Matt Mowery


MIDWEST RECRUITING: Hillsdale lands Lenawee Christian’s Dani Salenbien; Hamilton’s Ediger picks Iowa

By: , June 27, 2019, 1:51 pm

While her younger (and taller) sister gets a lot of the ink for Adrian Lenawee Christian’s back-to-back girls basketball titles — and not undeservedly — it’s Dani Salenbien that’s been the hand on the tiller of that particular ship.

The two-time champion rising senior point guard committed to Division II Hillsdale College this week, settling on a school just 45 minutes away from home.

“A huge thank you to all my coaches, family, and teammates for supporting me and giving me such amazing opportunities,” she tweeted out.

With younger sister Bree Salenbien ranked No. 33 in the nation in the 2021 class by ESPN, and an imposing presence at 6-foot-2, a lot of the attention on the Cougars goes there. But it was Dani Salenbien that led the Cougars in scoring in each of the last two games of the Division 4 playoffs last spring, and one that helped Lenawee Christian take the air out of the ball in the championship game, clinging to a lead against St. Ignace.

“It’s that give-and-take of, ‘Do we take our time? Do we take the air out of the ball, or do we go?’ We trust Dani (Salenbien) with that. She’s such a floor general. She kept telling me ‘Dad, go five-out. Dad, go four corners.’ She was running the show. So I let her run the show,” said Lenawee Jamie Salenbien, who also doubles as Dad. “We had an actual plan that got thrown out the window. We were planning on saving some for the fourth quarter, and then pressing them, but that got thrown out the window, and we were just trying to hold on.”

Hamilton’s A.J. Ediger (2021) committed to Iowa

Back in March, in the Division 3 semifinals, the Freeland Falcons had zero answers for Hamilton’s 6-foot-2 big, A.J. Ediger. The sophomore was 11-for-20 from the floor and 11-for-14 from the free-throw line, scoring 33 points and pulling down 17 rebounds.

With nobody taller than 5-foot-10, the Falcons had no option to really stop Ediger, but merely had to outscore her.

“I was about to put a jersey on,” Freeland coach Tom Zolinski joked. “She’s tough, and she positioned herself well, and I think in the fourth quarter, we had to send two at her and leave the perimeter open a little bit.

“She’s an awesome player, and that was an awesome team. For us, with our height and everything, to come out with a win, it’s huge.”

That sort of dominance is why Big Ten schools were drooling over the Hawkeyes’ 2021 big, who committed to Iowa in mid-June. The upside: She won’t even have to change color schemes or mascots.

“Home is where the Hawkeye is,” she tweeted out.

“I am so fortunate to have so many people help me along my path and support me through the rough and smooth patches of my life, and cannot express my thanks enough. I appreciate all the other programs that have showed me what the life of a college athlete looks like and gave me the opportunity to play at so many different levels, thank you for your time and support!”


Other recent commitments:

• Grand Haven G Jolee Houle (2020) commits to Wayne State.

• Flushing’s 6-foot-5 C Becca Morrish (2020) committed to Wayne State

• Comstock Park G Mckenna Bent (2020) committed to Saginaw Valley

• Perry G Alyssa Welsh (2020) committed to Saginaw Valley.

• Saginaw Arts and Sciences’ 6-foot C Amaka Unobagha (2020) committed to Ferris State.

• River Rouge G Lamariyee Williams (2020) committed to Niagara.


Recent offers:

• East Grand Rapids’ Macy Brown (2023) got an offer from Central Michigan this week, after getting her first offer from Loyola-Chicago back in May.

• Freeland W Kadyn Blanchard (2020) got an offer from Wayne State.

• Howell PG Maeve St. John (2022) got an offer from Northwood.

• L’Anse Creuse North’s (2022) Brooke Daniels got an offer from Wayne State.

• Onsted F Mya Hiram (2021) got an offer from Saginaw Valley.

• Detroit Renaissance 6-foot-1 C/PF Shannon Wheeler (2021) got an offer from Toledo, after getting one from Oakland earlier in June.

• Detroit Renaissance W Nika Dorsey (2021) got an offer from Central Michigan.

• Ann Arbor Huron’s Kaiden Glenn (2021) got an offer from Central Michigan.

• Bay City John Glenn W Abi Tarrant (2021) got an offer from Siena Heights

• Detroit Edison’s Gabby Elliott (2020) got an offer from Georgia Tech.

• Dexter’s Sydney Pnacek (2022) received an offer from North Dakota.

• Hartland F Lillee Gustafson (2021) got an offer from Trine.

• Kent City PG Kenzie Bowers (2021) got an offer from Valparaiso.

• Manton’s Jaden Wilder (2020) gets an offer to play at Lake Superior State.

• Sault Ste. Marie’s Claire Erickson (2023) gets an offer to play at Lake Superior State.

• East Lansing’s Sanaya Gregory (2020) gets an offer to play at U-M Dearborn.

• Hartland PF/C Whitney Sollom (2020) gets an offer from UCLA.

• Charlevoix F Elise Stuck (2020) gets an offer from Illinois.