School of choice

Zenner signs with Michigan Tech; Osterman joins Stout

Bryce Derouin/Daily Mining Gazette/Osterman photo by Amanda Rinkinen Left, Houghton's Sloane Zenner signs her letter of intent to join Michigan Tech Tuesday in Houghton. Right, Baraga's Carsyn Osterman signs with Wisconsin-Stout Tuesday in Baraga.

Two of the area’s most versatile basketball talents, Houghton’s Sloane Zenner and Baraga’s Carsyn Osterman, are taking their skillsets to the collegiate level.

Surrounded by family members, Zenner signed her letter of intent to play at Michigan Tech, while Osterman signed on to play at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wis on Tuesday.

“I’m really excited,” Zenner said. “I think that being able to play in my hometown after watching them play, and going to such a successful program, is a really good fit for me.”

Zenner was a three-time All-U.P. selection during her time at Houghton — including Class ABC All-U.P. First Team in her final two seasons. This past season, she averaged 15.2 points per game on 56 percent shooting, 6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 3.8 steals and 1.2 blocks. Zenner finished with 1,078 points and was a key figure in Houghton’s three district titles.

“Athleticism and versatility stand out the most for me,” Houghton head coach Julie Filpus said when describing the 6-foot Zenner. “When I think back to some of her best games, she’s attacking the rim and hitting from the outside and has her midrange game going. That really speaks to the time she’s put in in her driveway.”

Bryce Derouin/Daily Mining Gazette/Osterman photo by Amanda Rinkinen Left, Houghton's Sloane Zenner signs her letter of intent to join Michigan Tech Tuesday in Houghton. Right, Baraga's Carsyn Osterman signs with Wisconsin-Stout Tuesday in Baraga.

Zenner’s ability to play in the post or perimeter, and defend either guards or forwards, are the features of her game that make her dynamic. In addition to the on-court versatility and the prospect of playing for her hometown team, above all, the education aspect of Tech made it a perfect fit for her — she plans to major in mechanical engineering.

“I’ve always dreamed of playing for Tech,” said Zenner, who was also considering other GLIAC schools. “I think coming from the program that I came from, we have a lot of similarities between Houghton and Tech… I’m just grateful for the opportunity that I have.”

Similar to Zenner, playing college basketball was a lifelong goal for Osterman. Stout began contacting Osterman in June. It just took one visit, and she was hooked. Despite Northland College, Wisconsin-Superior, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Finlandia, Bay de Noc Community College, Mid Michigan and Gogebic recruiting her, Stout was always in the back of her mind as the favorite.

“When I went to visit (Stout), it felt like the right fit. When I left, I knew right away,” Osterman said. “I like the personality of the team. I watched them in a tournament in Wisconsin Dells and it was the same style that (Baraga head coach Keith) Willis teaches: run and gun and preaching defense. Everything just fit perfectly in my mind.”

As a testament to her all-around game, Osterman recorded eight triple-doubles this past season and averaged 15.4 points, 9.5 assists, 8.7 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game. Her 9.5 assists per game led the U.P. and highlighted her playmaking ability. She was a Class D All-U.P. First Team unanimous selection this past season.

“The fact I’m playing college basketball is surreal,” Osterman said. “It probably won’t hit me until the first game.”

Osterman plans to major in business administration. And it’s off the court where she currently has her sights set. At Stout, if you’re a student-athlete and have a GPA that’s 3.5 or higher, you receive a student-athlete award. If you’re able to do that all four years, you get your name on a banner at the school.

“I want to be able to get that all four years,” Osterman said of the 3.5 GPA mark. “I want to try my hardest to get a banner in school. That’s my main goal.”

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