Former Carson High star signs with University of Montana-Western

Meghan Gradert, a former Carson High star, has signed with the University of Montana-Western after a stellar two-year career at Yakima Valley Community College.

Gradert, who led Yakima Valley in scoring, blocks, rebounds and steals this past season, has accepted a full ride scholarship, which will cover tuition, fees, books, room and board. The University of Montana-Western is located in Dillon, Mont., and has one of the better NAIA women's programs in the country.

The Lady Bulldogs have gone 63-8 the past season two seasons and have advanced deep into the NAIA National Tournament, including a 68-51 loss to Central State in the Sweet 16 this past season. They were the 2003 Frontier Conference champions.

Gradert, a 2001 Carson High graduate, was both Yakima Valley's team MVP and captain during her sophomore season, where she earned second team all-league honors. She averaged 15.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg, as well as three blocks and steals per game this past season for Yakima Valley.

"With only two sophomores on the Yakima Valley Community College team, Meghan was obviously the team leader," said coach Cody Butler. "She played and is still playing a huge role in developing all of the underclassmen. Meghan has improved more in her two years than any other player, male or female, that I have seen in five years I've been at YVCC. Her improvement is a direct result of her work ethic in the weight room and individual workouts."

Gradert was voted YVCC's most improved player following her freshman season and was voted the school's female athlete of the year for 2002-2003. She was also this year's student body president.

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