Hayenga-Hostikka to be inducted into MSUM Athletics Hall of FameWORTHINGTON — Being nominated into the hall of fame is a great honor for any athlete. But it isn’t very often that a transfer student leaves enough of an impression on a team and a school to receive such an honor.
By: Jordan Willi, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Being nominated into the hall of fame is a great honor for any athlete. But it isn’t very often that a transfer student leaves enough of an impression on a team and a school to receive such an honor.
“To be inducted is quite an honor,” Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka said about her upcoming induction into the Minnesota State University Moorhead Athletics Hall of Fame. “It is especially an honor since I only played two seasons there. College transfers can’t always make a big impression in the few years they are there.”
Hayenga-Hostikka, a Worthington native, played her high school basketball for the Trojans before heading to then Worthington Community College where she played two years under coach Mike Fury from 1990-92.
“To say she played a team game is an understatement,” Fury said. “She had a great ability to make any pass she wanted to. It usually takes three to four years of playing at one school to make it into their hall of fame. But I am not surprised at all that she did it in just two.”
In the 1992 season, Hayenga-Hostikka led the Lady Jays to victory in the State Championship. She is the all-time assist leader as well as the third all-time leading scorer in school history.
“She was a great player for us,” Fury said. “She made me look pretty smart over the years. I am indebted to her.”
Hayenga-Hostikka’s time at WCC was more to her than just a stepping stone to the next level of college basketball.
“Playing at WCC definitely helped me a lot,” Hayenga-Hostikka said. “People don’t realize how big of a step it is just to go from high school to junior college as an athlete. At the D-II level, it is tough to crack the lineup as an underclassman.
“For me, it was a huge benefit to get all the playing time I did as a freshman and sophomore. Coach Fury really helped prepare me to step in as a junior at Moorhead State.”
After her two years at WCC, Hayenga-Hostikka transferred to Moorhead State where she was a two-year starter for the Dragons. While at Moorhead State, Hayenga-Hostikka was a two-time All-NAIA District 13 and All-NSIC selection and matched the school single game record with six 3-point field goals. Hayenga-Hostikka was also voted Dragons’ Most Valuable Player as well as earning third team NAIA All-American and first team All-NSIC honors in her final season.
“It was a great experience to play at that level,” Hayenga-Hostikka, said. “I had always wanted to play at that level. I had two pretty good years at WCC and there were some really good times there. I played two more years at Moorhead State and I had a lot of really good experiences there too.”
Hayenga-Hostikka came full circle in her basketball career when she took the assistant coaching job with the Lady Jays nine years ago.
“Not every player can become a great coach,” Fury said. “But she definitely can and has. Her knowledge of the game is just amazing. She sees things on the floor that I would never catch.”
In her nine years as assistant coach, Fury has noticed improvement in the program as a whole and he knows it is a direct result of Hayenga-Hostikka’s presence on the sidelines.
“You know how they say you don’t know what you have until it is gone; well with her, I didn’t know what I was missing until she got here,” Fury said. “She has helped our program immensely.”
Hayenga-Hostikka, along with the eight other members of the 2012 Dragons Hall of Fame class, will be inducted at the MSUM Dragon Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, Sept. 28 with awards being presented at 6 p.m.
Daily Globe Reporter Jordan Willi
may be reached at 376-7335.