Batt chooses MSU

NEW ULM — New Ulm High School girls’ basketball junior point guard Joey Batt verbally committed to Minnesota State University, Mankato on Tuesday.

Batt, who was also considering Southwest State University and Wayne (Neb.) State, said that choosing the Mavericks was because of their style of play.

“I like how they play and how they push the ball,” she said, “They have good tempo and I really like their team bonding, which is really strong. They get along well and they communicate really well.”

Batt, who is averaging 26.2 points per game this season along with 5.6 steals per contest, said that one of the tough decisions in choosing Minnesota State was that one of her former teammates at New Ulm High School, Meleah Reinhart, is playing at Southwest State as a freshman.

“It was a tough decision,” Batt said about not following Reinhart to Southwest State. “I played with Meleah for a long time, so being her teammate again would have been really exciting. But now it will be fun to play against her.”

She said that Reinhart did communicate with her about coming to Southwest State.

“She said a couple of things about how it would be cool to be teammates and everything.”

Batt said that she had wanted to get her college commitment done early.

“This takes a lot of stress off of my shoulders,” she said. “It was a tough decision.”

Batt said that when MSU coaches talked to her, they said that they liked leadership and communication.

“That was a big emphasis for them,” Batt said. “They want players to get along and to bond. And they like to have guard play. I will be more of a ball handler at point guard. And they want leadership from each and every player on the court. And that is what they will be expecting from me. And I like that leadership knowing that I am in charge of the pace of the game.”

Batt said that she has gone to a couple of Mavericks games this year and she likes the chemistry that the team displayed.

“They are not a selfish team,” she said. “They share the ball.”

Batt added that she knows she has to improve on her shooting range.

“Just to keep that up so I can open myself up to drive or to shoot,” she said.

Brian Batt, her father and high school coach, said that he is happy for her.

“She has put in a lot of hard work,” he said. “And I think that she is relieved to have picked a school now instead of going through the whole summer and wondering where she is going to go and having that hang over her head. Now she can really focus on her high school basketball career. And she did not want to go far from home for college basketball. I’ll be able to get to some of her games and I know that she wanted to have her family be able to come and watch her.”

Brian Batt said that Joey will be on an athletic scholarship and also get some academic money.