With his first acquisition of the spring signing period, Northwest Missouri State women's basketball coach Mark Kellogg addressed his program's most glaring need.
The Bearcats, who had only one true point guard on last year's much-improved 15-13 team, added a second Wednesday with the signing of Kena Veldhuizen from Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Veldhuizen, a prolific 5-4 scoring guard, made first team all-state in 4A as senior at Oskaloosa and led her team to the most wins in school history. She averaged 19.6 points per game—tops among all Iowa 4A girls players— four assists and 4.7 steals per game.
Veldhuizen finished her career as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,159 points. She also set career records in free throws, steals and assists.
"You watch her on tape and she's got that next-level speed," said Kellogg. "She has great depth perception, makes very good decisions, and operates exceptionally well in tight quarters. What makes her better than most is her ability to score at will. She has a solid mid-range game and can stretch any defense with her three-point shot. Kena has extraordinary quickness and is the complete package of what we are looking for in a great Bearcat guard."
A three-sport athlete, Veldhuizen chose Northwest over exiting MIAA member Truman State and Division III powerhouse Simpson College. She committed to the Bearcats on her visit Mar. 2 after they beat Truman State in the regular season finale.
Kellogg envisions Veldhuizen being an immediate back-up to Australia native Monique Stevens, last year's starter at the point, and a starter down the line.
"We don't recruit kids to come in and redshirt," said Kellogg. "There's minutes there at the back-up point guard spot. Monique is probably going to play the most. She's had a year in our system. We see her as the first point guard, but there's a void behind her. If she can take advantage of that opportunity, she'll be on the court."
Kellogg wants to add a third point guard to the mix with one of his three remaining scholarships for next year. He'd also like to bring in a combo guard and another post player.
The Bearcats have visits set up with recruits next week.
Northwest signed two players in the fall, 5-11 forward Ashley Guenther (Independence, Mo.) and 6-0 forward Morgan Dittberner (Louisville, Neb.).
The Bearcats return their top six scorers from last year. Only Stevens and back-up guard Meridee Scott are going to be seniors.