Born in Glendive and raised in Savage with her five siblings (four sisters, one brother), 17-year-old Savage Warriors senior Haylie Conradsen appreciates growing up in this area and has learned a lot from her experiences.
“Growing up in a small town like Savage has always been a great experience for me. It has given me opportunities to make lots of friends that made it feel like we all are one big family,” Conradsen said. “With Savage High School being such a small school, I’m able to do a lot of extracurricular activities than I would in a larger school, which is another reason why it’s been such a great experience here in a small town.”
With those opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, Conradsen has been involved in a few other sports. Still, one sport has stuck out.
“Basketball has always been a great passion of mine ever since I began playing. I played in grade school and I came to find out I had a talent for it. Now, to realize that I’m able to continue my passion further into my life is amazing,” she said. “I realized it was real when getting interviews from college coaches and them offering me a once in a lifetime opportunity to further my career in basketball.”
That’s precisely what Conradsen is going to do, as she signed her national letter of intent to continue her basketball journey at Dakota College of Bottineau back on March 4.
“I decided on Dakota College at Bottineau because of all the great things I saw when I went to visit. Everyone was super nice and helpful and the coaches were super great and fun to talk with; they had everything I want in my coaches. The school is small, which is just how I like it; it was a place from the first impression that caught my eye.”
She’ll be leaving her five siblings, whom Conradsen says she loves to pieces, but she won’t be attending Dakota College at Bottineau alone. Lambert High School student and R&L Fusion basketball star Courtney Herman will also be joining her as a member of the LadyJack’s basketball team.
“Courtney and I are actually related, we’re second cousins. She and I are very close and we’re the best of friends,” Conradsen said. “She is an amazing, talented young woman, I love her, and I’m very thankful for her. We’ve both been offered the same, amazing experience. We talked about it and decided to take it together. It’s been a dream of ours to play together on the same team and we’re finally going to get that chance.”
For Conradsen, it’s all about making connections on and off the court in her first year.
“My goal in the first year as a LadyJack is to bond and make strong connections with my teammates, grow with them as a team to make us strong and play as one.”
While Conradsen has plans of attending a four-year University after her two-year stint at Bottineau is complete, Conradsen is not quite sure the degree she wants to pursue, but she’s confident in what she’ll want to do at that point.
With school closed all around the state and around the country due to the coronavirus concerns, it remains to be seen how the last few months will play out, but Conradsen is grateful for the extra time right now that she gets with her dad.
“Growing up, to occupy myself, I would mostly work on our family farm with my dad. I have been going to work with him ever since I was little; it’s always been one of my favorite things to do,” she said. “Right now, we’re calving and that has been keeping me super busy as it’s one of the best times of the year.”
With the remainder of the school year still uncertain, Conradsen can’t help but think of the memories.
“My favorite memory of being a Savage Warrior was playing for such an amazing community. They were the best crowd to play for and always showed great enthusiasm for sports. They have always been supportive and helpful throughout the years, and I’m very thankful for everyone in the community.”
As for what she is most proud of, that not only came on the court but off the court as well.
“I’m most athletically proud of my teammates and making it to state in basketball last year during my junior year. We made it to state my freshman year, but this time was a little different with us achieving a lot more as we got fourth in the state,” she said. “Academically, I’m most proud of my grades and how well I have kept up in the classroom throughout my four years.”