Vermillion’s Kelly Amundson wanted to go somewhere close to home, to find a college campus and a women’s basketball team that had a feeling of community.
Being able to play golf there too, that was a bonus she couldn’t pass up.
Amundson will attend Mount Marty College and compete in both basketball and golf for the Lancers, the institution announced Monday.
“The opportunity to play both really intrigued me. It really opened my eyes,” Amundson said after finishing her opening round in the South Dakota State Class A Girls’ Golf Tournament Monday in Hot Springs. “I wasn’t planning on it, but it worked out that way.”
On the basketball court, the 5-10 Amundson earned All-Class A Tournament and third-team All-State honors for the Tanagers, helping Vermillion to a state tournament berth. She averaged 14.5 points and 7.4 rebounds a game while shooting 40 percent from the field, 34 percent from three-point range and 74 percent from the line.
Her size and versatility were among the things that caught the attention of Tom Schlimgen, MMC’s head coach for both women’s basketball and golf.
“She didn’t shoot a lot of threes, but she has that ability,” he said. “She gives us three posts in this recruiting class, which is exactly what we were looking for.”
Also a state qualifying golfer, Amundson finished in a tie for 19th last season as the Tanagers finished third in the state Class A Tournament.
“She’s had some nice scores this season,” Schlimgen noted. “She’s been up and down at times, but that is the nature of golf.”
While the combination of size and athleticism drew Schlimgen to recruit Amundson, it was the combination of MMC’s small size, atmosphere and proximity that drew Amundson to MMC.
“I like that close community. It really stuck with me,” she said. “I’m going to major in nursing, so that really helped with the decision as well. It was all pretty perfect.”
Amundson has produced a solid resume away from competition as well. Besides attending Girls State, Amundson has been named an Athlete Hometown Hero of Character, and received an Award of Excellence for Leadership. She was also named November Student of the Month, Press & Dakotan A+ Student of the Week, Secretary of National Honor Society, and Secretary of the Student Council. She has also been very active in her community volunteering for the public library, Wakonda Nursing Home, her high school, the food pantry and on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Amundson has been awarded a Dean's Scholarship and Catholic Leadership Award. She is the daughter of Kurt and Peggy Amundson of Vermillion.
You can follow James D. Cimburek on Twitter at twitter.com/aceman904