Mustang Women’s Basketball is sending two graduated sophomores on to play at four-year schools next season. On Wednesday, May 25, Green River resident Shayla Strauss signed her Letter of Intent to play for Presentation College in Aberdeen, S.D., next season.
The guard, who graduated from Western on May 13, chose to join the Saints of Presentation College after a visit to the campus convinced her it was the right fit.
“I loved the coach, loved the girls, loved the environment. The school was really nice,” Strauss said on Wednesday after officially signing her paperwork. “And they have my degree, so that’s a plus.”
Strauss's fellow guard, Reece Bauer, of Pocatello, Idaho, recently signed with Eastern Oregon University.
Both players said they would miss their teammates and the Mustang camaraderie that defines what it means to be a student-athlete at Western.
“I think we’ve grown pretty close as friends and stuff, and so I am going to miss being around them all the time,” Bauer said of her teammates.
“I’ve learned a lot (at Western) about myself and what I’m capable of, and what I want from an education and what I want for myself,” added Bauer, who will study psychology at Eastern Oregon. “Not just from a basketball perspective, but in life, too.”
Strauss sat out her freshman year as a medical redshirt following a surgery she had undergone prior to beginning college. Technically, she could have played for the Mustangs next season, but the academically ambitious business major has already accomplished what she came to Western to achieve.
“There weren’t any more classes I could take for my degree, so it kind of forced me to graduate,” said Strauss, who came to Western with 12 college credits she had earned by taking dual and concurrent classes in high school. She averaged between 17 and 19 credit hours each semester while at Western.
Mustang Head Coach Garett Sherman said he would miss Strauss’s reliable presence on his team.
“If I could have 11 other Shayla Strausses, with that kind of attitude and work ethic, as well as getting it done in the classroom, I’d take ‘em,” he said.