With most of our Whatcom high school seniors graduating this past weekend, it’s the perfect time to look at where some of your favorite players will be attending college next year to play basketball.
Here are members of the Class of 2023 who have announced where they will be going this fall. And good luck to all of them.
For Whatcom Hoops’ top 30 girls, check out Top 30 Girls.
For Whatcom Hoops’ top 30 boys, check out Top 30 Boys.
MARIS BAKLUND, LOWER COLUMBIA COLLEGE
The Meridian shooting guard, who came back from a serious knee injury her junior year to make the Whatcom Hoops top 30, will continue her career at the community college in Longview. The Red Devils finished 19-9 last season and reached the first round of the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) championships.
MADDY BARTER, LINFIELD COLLEGE
The all-Northwest Conference first-team guard leaves Mount Baker as one of the school’s all-time scorers and will take her offensive talents to McMinnville, Ore. After two straight one-win seasons, the NCAA Division III Wildcats improved to 10-15 last season and just missed making the Northwest Conference tournament.
MADISYN BUTENSCHOEN, SKAGIT VALLEY COLLEGE
Ferndale’s all-Whatcom Hoops post is headed for Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon and will be joined by Golden Eagles teammate Cailyn Kessen. The Cardinals, with local alums Liv Tjoelker (Lynden) and McKenna Wichers (Nooksack Valley), finished 17-12 last season and advanced to the sweet 16 of the NWAC tournament.
DEMI DYKSTRA, WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
Lynden Christian’s all-league guard continues a family tradition by signing with Western, where her mother played basketball, her father played football, and first cousins Avery and Riley Dykstra starred last season. Joining Demi will be St. Mary’s transfer and Sehome alum Aspen Garrison on a Vikings squad that finished 24-4 last season and reached the NCAA Division II regional quarterfinals.
ASHTON ENGELHART, WHATCOM COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Squalicum’s all-league guard will stay in Bellingham and join teammate Kyle Heaton playing for the hometown Orcas. With local alums Josh Russ (Blaine) and Christian Zamora (Lynden), Whatcom finished with a 5-22 record last season.
GREY GARRISON, OREGON STATE
After earning first-team all-league honors, the Sehome center chose to take his NCAA Division I talents to Corvallis, Ore. The Beavers finished 11-21 last season and were eliminated in the first round of the Pacific-12 Conference tournament.
KYLE HEATON, WHATCOM COMMUNITY COLLEGE
The Squalicum forward will stay in Bellingham and join teammate Ashton Engelhart in playing for the hometown Orcas. With local alums Josh Russ (Blaine) and Christian Zamora (Lynden), Whatcom finished with a 5-22 record last season.
GRANT KEPLEY, WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
Sehome’s all-state guard has signed to play for the NCAA Division II hometown Vikings and will be joined by Mariners teammate Mat Storms. Western finished the season 15-13, just missing a spot in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference playoffs.
CAILYN KESSEN, SKAGIT VALLEY COLLEGE
The Ferndale shooting guard is headed for Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon along with Golden Eagles teammate Madisyn Butenschoen. The Cardinals, with local alums Liv Tjoelker (Lynden) and McKenna Wichers (Nooksack Valley), finished 17-12 and advanced to the sweet 16 of the NWAC tournament.
CARSON LEHNERT, DOUGLAS COLLEGE
The Blaine sharpshooter will take his skills across the border to the four-year school in New Westminster, B.C. The Royals, who compete in Canada’s Pacific West Athletic Association and also play a number of American college teams, finished 7-11 last season.
AVERY NEAL, WHITMAN COLLEGE
Meridian’s all-league guard will be taking her all-around game to the highly successful program in Walla Walla. The Blues won the Northwest Conference, reached the NCAA Division III national tournament for the sixth time in eight seasons, and finished the season 22-6.
MATT RUSS, SKAGIT VALLEY COLLEGE
After earning all-state tournament honors, the exciting Blaine wing heads south to play for the Mount Vernon community college. The Cardinals finished 17-12 last season and in sixth place in the NWAC North Division.
TYLER SIPMA, TRINITY WESTERN UNIVERSITY
After leading Lynden Christian to back-to-back state titles, the all-state point guard accepted a scholarship to the four-year school in Langley, B.C. The Spartans finished the season 15-10 and reached the Canada West playoffs.
ALIESHA SOLOMON, EVERETT COMMUNITY COLLEGE
After leading Lummi Nation to the playoffs four times, the all-league guard will bring her winning ways to the Trojans. Everett couldn’t overcome some key injuries last season and finished with a 3-22 record.
RAVEN SOLOMON, NORTHWEST INDIAN COLLEGE
The Lummi Nation all-league guard won’t have to travel far as she takes her all-around talent to nearby Northwest Indian College. The Lady Eagles finished 8-14 last season.
MAT STORMS, WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
Sehome’s all-league shooting guard has signed to play for the NCAA Division II hometown Vikings and will be joined by Mariners teammate Grant Kepley. Western finished the season 15-13, just missing a spot in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference playoffs.