Nov. 13, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – In talking with people about Manvel (Texas) High School’s Rangie Bessard, it quickly becomes very clear that she’s the type of player who will out-work and out-hustle those she’s competing against, and that she’s a tough matchup for opposing teams to defend.
But, just as important, is the fact that people take time to mention that she’s a terrific person off the court.
“Rangie (pronounced like Angie with an R) can run the floor really well and spot up and hit three-point baskets,” Manvel head coach Bryan Harris said. “She is a really good all-around player, but what makes her so special is that she is an even better person. She has a great attitude and is a great team player. She can do things with a basketball that a five or a four usually can’t do. She has a really nice touch, and is just a special kid.”
A 6-foot forward, Bessard signed a National Letter of Intent Wednesday morning to play basketball for the Golden Gophers and to pursue a degree in pre-med at the University of Minnesota.
“Every time I think about Rangie, I just smile,” Minnesota head coach Pam Borton said. “I’m filled with so much positive energy when I think about Rangie as a player and a person, and she is such a great kid. She’s one of the hardest workers in this class, and I think she’ll be one of the hardest workers on this team. She’s a self-made player who is very versatile, with the ability to play inside or outside.”
Bessard plays for one of the top Class 5A programs in the state of Texas. She is one of three players on her team headed to a major college program – teammate Brianna Turner signed with Notre Dame and junior teammate Jordan Hosey has committed to Texas.
Even on a team with that much talent, Bessard stands out. As a junior, she was among the top rebounders in Manvel’s region at 10.5 per game, while scoring 13.7 points per game for a team that finished 33-4.
“Rangie is kind of an under-the-radar type of player, and she has come on late,” Dan Olson of Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and espnW HoopGurlz said. “She plays for a powerhouse program in Texas that has a lot of juice, including Brianna Turner, who is ranked No. 2 in the class and is going to Notre Dame. Rangie has a big, strong body and a deceptive quickness to her. She can beat you with her shot from the three-point line, and she offers great versatility on the defensive end. She can beat you in a number of ways.”
One of two Minnesota signees from the state of Texas, Bessard is excited to begin her career with the Gophers.
“Just being able to put on that Minnesota jersey and to have the chance to step on the court and represent my university, my family, and myself gives me much excitement,” Bessard said. “Knowing that I'm going into one of the toughest conferences in college basketball pushes me to step up to the challenge and to give it my all.”
“Not only is Minnesota getting a player with a great skill set, but it’s also getting a family-oriented person,” Houston Elite AAU coach Sean Porter said. “She brings tenacity to any team she plays for. She knows how to take a program all the way to the top, and she encompasses everything you want in a player.”
Academically, Bessard is an AP Honors and Honor Roll student who was accepted into the National Honors Merit program, and she has aspirations of becoming a plastic surgeon.
“What really stood out to me and made my decision even easier was the fantastic academic program,” Bessard said. “With my intended major being pre-med, the University of Minnesota fit well because it has one of the top major medical programs in the country.”
“Another key aspect in helping me to make a decision was the loyalty of the coaching staff and the dynamic Golden Gophers team,” Bessard said. “From the time I stepped off the airplane, I knew (Minnesota) was the place for me. Coach Borton and Coach (Curtis) Loyd opened their arms to my family, and it was one of the best greetings I ever encountered. When I arrived on campus and was greeted by the team, coaching staff, counselors, and professors, I knew that this would be my new family away from home.”
Bessard is already looking forward to employing the work ethic Coach Borton mentioned, and she was impressed by the type of effort she saw from her new Gopher teammates.
“Knowing that I will be playing with girls that are dedicated and hard-working motivates me even more to be the best that I can be,” Bessard said. “I look forward to playing and becoming a part of the Minnesota women's basketball family, and to becoming an impact player.”
--Michael Molde, Athletic Communications Assistant
More Information on Minnesota's Signing Class
Rangie Bessard: Story | Official Release | Fact Sheet | Borton Video | Loyd Video
Josie Buckingham: Story | Official Release | Fact Sheet | Borton Video | Riverso Video
Grace Coughlin: Story | Official Release | Fact Sheet | Borton Video | Roysland Video
Tory Jacobs: Story | Official Release | Fact Sheet | Borton Video | Loyd Video
Carlie Wagner: Story | Official Release | Fact Sheet | Borton Video | Roysland Video
Complete Signing Day Class
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WNBA Update - Sept. 19
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Tipoff Dinner Set for Oct. 7
The annual event provides an opportunity to watch practice and hear from head coach Marlene Stollings and the team.