Former Chisago Lakes High School standout Bryanna Fernstrom has returned to Minnesota to join the Gopher women’s basketball team, head coach Marlene Stollings announced today. The center is a mid-year transfer from Iowa State and will be eligible to play after the fall semester of 2016.
“Bryanna is an exceptional addition to our Gopher program,” Stollings said. “She brings in-depth experience from playing in the Big 12, starting the majority of her young career. Bryanna has recorded big games including 15 points against Duke this season. She is a very talented defender with the ability to block and alter shots, and she has shown the ability to score with her touch on the offensive end. We are ecstatic to bring another Minnesotan home to play in front of the best fans in the country.”
Fernstrom started 12 of 15 games for the Cyclones this season, averaging 9.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. She also had a team-high 34 blocks during Iowa State’s 11-4 start to the season. Fernstrom is 10th on the Cyclones’ career blocks list with 70 at the time of her departure.
As a rookie in 2014-15 Fernstrom made 25 starts and was named Big 12 Freshman of the Week three times. The Center City, Minnesota, native averaged 9.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest. Fernstrom’s 36 blocks ranked second all-time among Iowa State freshmen. She scored 25 points in her collegiate debut and notched nine games scoring in double figures.
Prior to her arrival in Ames, Fernstrom was the 2014 Pioneer Press’ girls’ basketball player of the year. She was nominated for the McDonald’s All-American Game and for Minnesota’s Miss Basketball.
Fernstrom averaged 25.9 points, 13.4 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game as a Chisago Lakes senior. She also averaged a double-double her junior year. The Mississippi 8 Conference MVP set numerous school season records including points, rebounds, field goals and blocks. She also posted single-game records of 42 points, 17 field goals and 15 blocks during her prep career.
“Bryanna comes from a solid, well-coached Chisago Lakes high school program where she grew under the tutelage of Coach Craig Walker and staff,” Stollings said. “Bryanna has the potential to make an immediate impact on our program.”
The Gophers’ latest roster addition was an AAU teammate of Carlie Wagner with the Minnesota Stars.
“When I decided to transfer from my previous school, I knew Minnesota would be the first and best choice for me,” Fernstrom said. “Once I got there I met the coaching staff and toured the campus and facilities, I knew it was exactly where I belonged. I felt very at home at the University of Minnesota and was welcomed with open arms by both staff and players. I believe Coach Marlene and her staff are dedicated to the success of the basketball program as well as its student-athletes. I'm very excited to be back home playing in front of the people that have helped and supported me for so many years.”
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