Christianson makes it official, signs with DrakeChristianson joins three other guards in Drake's signing class.
By: By Eric Morken, Sports Reporter, Alexandria Echo Press
Alexandria senior guard Angela Christianson has been preparing herself for this moment since 5th grade.
It was then that she first started thinking about where she could go in the game of basketball. Her traveling coach was the first person who told her to set the goal of playing Division I. Most kids that age would shrug it off. For Christianson, it struck a chord.
“I think that kind of sparked a little light bulb in my head to keep working,” she said. “You have potential to play Division I basketball. How fun would that be? From that point on, I really worked really hard on my skills. I just wanted to get better, wanted to be the best I could be.”
All of that hard work came to fruition when she signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Drake University last Tuesday with her father and head coach Wendy Kohler looking on. Christianson committed to the Bulldogs in August after receiving interest from the University of Missouri, North Dakota State and Colorado State.
Drake was the obvious choice for Christianson. It offered her a chance to play close enough to home out of the Missouri Valley Conference for a team that had pushed hard for her from the beginning of the recruiting process.
“It was a really cool feeling seeing it on paper,” she said. “I think it won’t really set in until I get down there and start playing with the girls and get on campus and get into the flow of things. But it’s definitely a really exciting moment.”
Christianson is not alone at her position in the Bulldogs’ 2010 recruiting class. Drake signed four guards to help boost its perimeter play. Guard Jordan Plummer and forward Monique Jones are the only two seniors on the Bulldogs’ roster in 2010. That should make for strong competition at shooting guard when Christianson steps on campus next fall.
“I think that will make me work even harder and want the playing time even more,” she said. “The coaches have told me that I can definitely make an impact as a freshman, which is a big reason why I chose Drake in the first place.
“I think two of the guards they signed will be point guards and another one will be at my position. There will definitely be some competition for playing time so I just need to go there and work my hardest and do what I can do to help the team out.”
No doubt the Bulldogs are looking for Christianson to provide a scoring punch for them over her career. That has never been a problem for her up to this point.
Christianson holds every major scoring record at Jefferson High School through her junior season. She posted the top four single-game scoring records of 54, 48, 44 and 38 points, respectively. Her 662 points during the 2007-2008 season are a single season record, while her career total of 1,616 points is already a school record.
“Angela can score in many ways,” Drake head coach Amy Stephens said in a release on signing day. “She has the ability to shoot the three, the pull-up jumper and draw fouls. She also has an uncanny ability to find open players with her passing ability.”
Her length and athleticism has benefited her on defense, as well. Christianson is tied with Chelsea Hendricks and Shelli Schoeneck for second in school history in steals in a season with 94. That is a part of her game that she wants to continue to improve on going forward.
“This year I’m trying to work on foot speed, staying with my girl at all times. Not giving up on a play, locking down, just not letting my girl score is basically my focus for every game.”
Her focus now is finishing up her high school career with a memorable senior season. Christianson said she is excited about the potential the Cardinals have heading into this winter.
“I think we can do really good things this year,” she said. “Hopefully we can win the conference and even make a state run. We have high hopes. We’re going to be really athletic and lengthy and quick, so we can do a lot of good things this year. I’m really looking forward to it.”
It is also a season that should see her continue to add to the list of career marks. Christianson needs just 384 points to become the first 2,000-point scorer in school history. It is a milestone that any athlete would be proud to accomplish. She realized at a young age what it would take to put up those numbers. Now the sport she put so much into at a young age is giving back in a big way.