New Jacks sign on, former athletes sign overseas pro contracts

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Michael Orris dribbles toward the basket to make a lay-up. 

Although South Dakota State athletics aren’t in season for most of the summer, the department kept plenty busy.

Two players who graduated in 2017 from the men’s basketball team signed professional contracts to play overseas during the summer. Point guard Michael Orris signed with Hamar Basketball Club in Iceland and forward A.J. Hess signed with Starwing Basket in Switzerland. 

Clarissa Ober, who graduated from SDSU in 2017 and played center for the women’s basketball team, signed a professional contract with ChemCats out of Chemnitz, Germany. 

The men’s golf team added two transfers over the summer. Jared Nicolls played his first two seasons at Stetson University and Trevor Thomas played his first two seasons at Marquette. 

Cassidy Laidlaw, Brooke Piearson and Magda Kruger signed their national letters of intent to play with the women’s golf team over the summer. 

Laidlaw is from Calgary, Alberta in Canada. Piearson is a Brookings native. Kruger played at Redlands Community College in El Rano, Oklahoma and is from Centurion, South Africa.

The softball team added two transfer players over the summer as well. Infielder Megan Rushing and outfielder Kerigan Torres are junior transfers from Des Moines Area Community College. Rushing hit .365 last season with 35 runs batted in and seven home runs. Torres hit .543 last season with 29 RBIs.

The baseball team also added two junior college transfers over the summer in left-handed pitcher Korey Kuhlman and infielder Josh Kutzke. Kuhlman comes from Iowa Western Community College and Kutzke comes from Walla Walla Community College in Washington.

Kuhlman had a 7-3 career record at IWCC and had 20 strikeouts last season. Kutzke batted .310 last season with two home runs and 31 RBIs.

The SDSU football, soccer, volleyball, cross country and golf teams all begin their seasons in the next two weeks.