Proximity to family key to Bad Bear’s Montana State decision

Posted at 6:19 PM, Feb 05, 2018

BILLINGS – It’s been two months since Billings Senior’s girls tasted defeat. Ten consecutive wins have the Lady Broncs at the top of the Eastern AA conference.

They took care of the Great Falls schools over the weekend, and junior Kola Bad Bear took care of some other business – announcing her commitment to play basketball at Montana State.

It’s rare for Montana athletes to commit so early, but Bad Bear put her pursuit to bed Saturday morning on Twitter. She’s the AA’s leading scorer at more than 18 points per game – with a season-high 30 last month against Bozeman.

She said it’s been down to MSU, Portland State, and Northern Colorado for the past two months, but Bozeman swayed her for one big reason.

“I’m so close with my family,” said the forward. “I have two little brothers and I don’t want to miss out on them growing up.”

Senior head coach Zach Robbins said Bad Bear’s strengths don’t stop at scoring.

“She passes so well, which I love,” Robbins said. “She’s getting double- and triple-teamed, she’s finding her open teammates. And we’ve got great shooters on this team with Ellie (Ostermiller), Sam (Bonenberger), Courtney (Bad Bear) and Mariah (Linse). I just couldn’t be more pleased with the balance we have on this team.”

Bad Bear and her teammates will look for their 11th straight win Tuesday night against crosstown Skyview. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside Rimrock Auto Arena.