A look at SDSU’s professionals

Photo courtesy of SDSU Ellie Thompson guards the ball during a win over North Dakota State on Jan. 6 at Frost Arena. She finished 29th all-time in points (1,278)

Ellie Thompson, a Chaska, Minn., native, is just the latest Jackrabbit women’s basketball player to sign a pro basketball contract.

Here is a rundown of the five women’s players who continued their career in the pros after graduating from SDSU: 

Ellie Thompson

Years at SDSU: 2014-17 

Position: Forward

Team signed with: Basket Esch (Luxembourg)

Pro career stats: In 10 games so far, Thompson is averaging 20.1 ppg and 8.6 rpg.

SDSU career stats: 9.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg

Quote from SDSU coach Aaron Johnston: “She was one of the more typical forwards we’ve had here. She is really good around the basket and scored with her strength and footwork. As time went on she became more comfortable on the perimeter to pass the ball and shoot some jumpers as well. She was really good at using her body and was really good at using her strength, body and footwork to score, since she wasn’t able to rise up over the defender.”

Jennie (Sunnarborg) Rintala

Years at SDSU: 2008-12

Position: Forward

Team signed with: Kalamunda Eastern Suns (Australia)

Pro career stats: In 54 games, Rintala averaged 28.3 minutes a game. She shot 41 percent from the field, 33 percent from the 3-point line and 74 percent from the free throw line. She averaged eight rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.2 blocks, 1.4 steals per game. She averaged 15 points in her pro career. 

SDSU career stats: She is a part of the 1,000-point club with 1,232 career points. She averaged about 10 points for her career. 

Quote from AJ: “She was as talented as a player as we’ve had at that position. She really took off in her junior and senior seasons and really worked on her shooting ability from deep. She could score from her left or right hand and had several different moves in the post. A really good player overall.”

Where are they now?: She is an athlete/youth coach at Kalamunda Eastern Suns. From September 2015 to March 2017 she was an assistant women’s basketball coach at Claremont McKenna College. 

Jill (Young) Sargent

Years at SDSU: 2008-11

Position: Guard

Team signed with: Heidelberg (Germany)

Pro career stats: In 2012-13, Young played in 21 games. She shot 44 percent from the 3-point line, 91 percent from the free-throw line and averaged 5.9 rebounds. She averaged 13.2 points, 1.6 assists and one steal per game. 

SDSU career stats: 10.2 ppg, 41.6 percent from 3-point range; career leader in 3-point field goals (305)

Quote from AJ: “Jill was a great shooter – that’s what she was always known for here. (She was the) most consistent 3-point shooter we’ve had here and once she got experience she became a better defender and rebounder for us as well.”

Where are they now?: She currently lives in Dayton, Ohio, with husband Clint and their daughter, Gracelyn Ann, and son, C.J. She owns a store on Etsy called BreatheInGrace. Clint is also an SDSU alum who played for the men’s team in Heidelberg. He is in his third season as an assistant coach at Wright State, where former SDSU coach Scott Nagy is the head coach. 

Megan Vogel

Years at SDSU: 2004-07

Position: Guard/forward

Team signed with: Donau-Ries (Germany)

Pro career stats: She was the first SDSU alum to be selected in the WNBA Draft when she was taken 19th overall in the second round by the Washington Mystics in 2007. She was released during training camp prior to that season. In the 2008-09 season, Vogel played in 14 games in Germany. She shot 39 percent from the field, 30 percent from the 3-point line, 80 percent from the free-throw line and averaged 11.9 rebounds a game. She averaged 17.6 points, 2.2 assists, and 1.7 steals per game as well.

SDSU career stats: 15.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg; second all-time leading scorer at SDSU.

Quote from AJ: “Megan was a tremendous competitor and a very versatile player. She could play a two, a three, or even a four. She could shoot, post up and was one of the most driven and aggressive players we’ve had here.”

Where are they now?: Vogel is in her sixth season as an assistant coach at Green Bay. 

Andrea Verdegan

Years at SDSU: 2004-07

Position: Guard

Team signed with: Ringwood H. (Australia)

Pro career stats: No stats available. 

SDSU career stats: 8.0 ppg, 3.1 apg

Quote from AJ: “Andrea was a great skilled guard – really good ball handler, always felt like she could get us into anything and get the ball wherever it needed to go. I was always very confident in her when she had the ball.”

Where are they now?: She is living in Bozeman, Mont., according to Facebook. 

Melissa Pater

Years at SDSU: 2000-03

Position: Forward

Team signed with: Eurosped (Holland)

Pro career stats: In the 2004-05 season, Pater played in 21 games and averaged 18.1 points per contest. 

SDSU career stats: 13.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg; fourth all-time leading scorer at SDSU

Quote from AJ: “She was one of our first great forwards who helped us win an NCAA Division II national championship. She was a really tough player and really good around the rim. She could step out to the 3-point line during her senior season and hit some shots from deep.”

Where are they now?: Pater, along with her husband, Nate, and their four kids – Ethan, Nahla, Quincey and Navy – live in Sioux Falls. She works at Wells Fargo as a business relationship manager.

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