HELENA — Helena High senior Vanessa Walsh inked her letter of intent to play basketball for Montana Tech on Wednesday in front of friends, family and former-turned-future teammate Hailey Crawford. In Walsh’s senior season she averaged 6.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists en route to her last of three consecutive Class AA state titles.
Walsh said she originally wasn’t sold on being an Oredigger, but after a visit to the campus and weighing her options she knew Montana Tech was right for her.
“I was actually completely opposed to Tech at first just as a school because my whole family went there, and the only reason I was going to play basketball was to play for Tech, and once I went up and toured I just fell in love with the campus and the program and I just feel like I’m meant to be there,” Walsh said. “The fact that it’s somewhat close to home for me, to come back and watch my siblings have their high school careers, be able to go through their high school careers and be able to come see them and watch them play in Butte or somewhere around Montana.”
When asked, Walsh told MTN Sports the relationship she built with Crawford was like a sisterly bond, more so than her own brother, who also attends Montana Tech. And Crawford said she was happy that her former teammate will join her in Butte next season.
“Vanessa might be one of the hardest-working people I know. So I just think work ethic alone, she never gives up. She’s going to be in the gym, she’s going to go that extra mile and not even (just) on the court, she’s a great teammate off the court. She’s going to help you in life and on the court,” Crawford said.
One thing Crawford noted was the importance of the Orediggers being a cohesive unit.
“Our team is really close, so I think she’s coming into a new family,” Crawford said. “Our coach (Carly Sanon) is always there for you. She makes you a great person, not just a great player, so she’s walking into a big family.”