(Editor’s note: Montana State University media release)
BOZEMAN – On Wednesday afternoon Montana State 14th-year head coach Tricia Binford announced that four high school standouts will join the Montana State women’s basketball program next season.
Signing with the Bobcats are Kola Bad Bear, a 6-foot-2 forward from Billings; Darian White, a 5-6 guard from Boise, Idaho; Madison Jackson, a 5-9 guard from Parma, Idaho; and Kenzie Stumne, a 5-11 forward from Forest Lake, Minn.
“All of these kids are very dynamic players that will elevate our program,” Binford said. “They have a special level of intensity and are flat-out competitors.”
Bad Bear is a name familiar to the Treasure State. An all-state first-team selection in both basketball and volleyball, she averaged a Class AA-best 16.8 points and 7.8 rebounds as a junior at Billings Senior. Bad Bear also chipped in 2.7 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.3 assists per contest, while shooting 48.9 percent from the field. The three-time all-state first-team selection in basketball, also excelled off the court being named academic all-state on three occasions. A National Honor Society member, Bad Bear was named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Montana Girls Basketball team.
“Kola is one of the best talents in the state,” Binford said. “She is someone who can play inside out and stretch floor and play with her back to the basket. Kola plays with tremendous passion and will impact our program immediately. She is a winner and strong competitor and fits with who we are as a program.”
As a sophomore, Bad Bear averaged 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds while leading the Eastern AA in blocked shots for the Broncs under the direction of head coach Zach Robbins. Bad Bear led Senior to a Montana Class AA third-place finish in 2017.
Bad Bear played club ball with the Montana Elite Native and Northwest Blazers. Former MSU players that came out of the Blazer program include Peyton Ferris, Madeline Smith and Kamden Hilborn
She is the daughter of Curtis and Nadia Bad Bear.
White, who was a 5A All-Idaho Second-Team selection last season, averaged 12.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.5 assists, guiding Mountain View High School to a 19-8 overall record, a 12-4 conference ledger, and a third-place state finish. White also garnered 5A Southern Idaho Conference Second-Team kudos for her efforts. In addition, she also had an outstanding freshman campaign earning second-team All-Treasure Valley honors at Capital High School.
“Darian is a super-quick, explosive point guard,” Binford said. “She is an outstanding playmaker and possesses a great ability to get to the rim. She does a great job of creating opportunities and setting the tempo for her team. Darian will really fit in well with our four out, one in offense. She is also very relentless on the defensive end, as well. Darian is scrappy and extremely competitive. She plays much bigger than her size and can really impact the boards.”
White played club ball with Idaho Hoop Dreams.
She is the daughter of Derrick White and Amy Myers.
Jackson, who preps at Parma High School, was the 2018 3A Snake River Conference Player of the Year, after averaging 18.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.s steals per game as a junior. In addition, she also garnered First-Team All-State accolades with the Panthers. Parma captured the 2018 3A Girls State Consolation title in a win over Buhl. As a sophomore, Jackson also claimed 3A SRV MVP honors, as well. An outstanding athlete, Jackson was also a state champion in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles, high jump and as a member of the 4 x 400-meter relay team.
“Maddy is long, athletic and fast,” Binford said. “She has a high motor and is also relentless on defense. Maddy brings a great level of intensity to the floor and never takes a play off. She values every single possession.”
Jackson played club ball with the Idaho Flash.
She is the daughter of Jeff and Trinity Jackson
Stumne, preps at Forest Lake High School and comes from a familiar club program, as well. Stumne played with the Minnesota Fury, who produced current Bobcats Claire Lundberg, Martha Kuderer, Tori Martell, Gabby Mocchi and Sidney Zieske.
As a junior, Stumne was sidelined most of the season recovering from an ACL injury. Entering this season, she has been identified by Breakdown Sports as a Minnesota Super 100 Senior. A starter since ninth grade, Stumne averaged 8.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks per game en route to being named to the Suburban East Honorable-Mention team. The Rangers were a state tournament participant last winter. In addition, Stumne also lettered in volleyball and track and is a Spotlight on Scholarship honoree.
“Kenzie is a stretch guard,” Binford said. “She is a strong kid with a high basketball IQ. Kenzie has deep range and is very skilled. She also has the ability to post-up and create a mismatch.”
She is the daughter of James and Carrie Stumne.