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Aggen signs to play at USF

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Worthington's Holli Aggen signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Sioux Falls Wednesday. Pictured are (front l-r) USF head coach Travis Traphagen, Holli Aggen, assistant coach Meghan Nelson, assistant coach Tom Goehle, (back) Worthington head coach Eric Lindner, Jan Aggen and Elwin Aggen.

WORTHINGTON -- Until Wednesday, Holli Aggen didn't have the answer.

When people asked the Worthington senior where she was heading once her Trojan career was over, Aggen wasn't sure.

Wednesday, Aggen answered the questions as she signed a letter of intent to continue her education and basketball career at the University of Sioux Falls.

After narrowing her choices to USF or Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., Aggen decided being a Cougar was the best choice.

"When people asked me I always had an idea that I was going to either of these two, but I never really said anything to anyone whenever they said, 'Hey, where are you going?'' Aggen said. "Now I will actually be able to say, 'I'm going to USF.'"

Aggen will join a program that is on the rise.

"USF is rebuilding, so a lot of their starters are freshman," Aggen said. "Where Augie has been good for a long time, so they have seniors, a bunch of juniors, a bunch of sophomores and a bunch of good freshmen, so it would be harder to go in and play right away."

For first-year head coach Travis Traphagen, Aggen will be a critical piece to the puzzle.

"We went into this recruiting class looking to bring in about three kids," Traphagen said. "We're well on our way. In all honesty, Holli was our top priority since Day 1. To be able to sign a kid like this today makes it a pretty special day."

After a large recruiting class entering this season, Traphagen is looking to fill specific needs for the 2009-10 campaign.

"It came to our attention that we needed a kid that can shoot the basketball," Traphagen said. "I've been in the gym so many times when Holli's hitting six or seven 3s in a game, and even giving up some to get her teammates involved."

As a go-to scorer this season for the Trojans, Aggen has led Worthington (3-0) in scoring in every game this season.

"She's one of those kids, she's an unselfish player," Traphagen said. "She gets 20 or 30 points a night, where she could just as easily get 30 or 35 points a night if she decided she wanted to shoot the basketball.

"When you can find a regional kid that has the type of talent that Holli does, I really commend a kid for looking at where she is the best fit. She knows that's one of our needs. She has an opportunity to step into a program right now that's really on the rise."

One attraction to USF was the ability to play right away, along with the short distance from Worthington.

"They are close to home and I like that," Aggen said. "I like the coaches, they are fun and they are nice.

"I wanted to go somewhere I could play right away and not have to think about redshirting or sitting out for two years."

A challenge for Aggen next season will be adjusting to new coaches, a new environment and new teammates.

"I've played with these girls since like fifth grade, so I know them inside and out," Aggen said of her current Trojan teammates. "(USF) Point guard, Kayla Blom, was on my AAU team three years ago. So I know her and few of the girls that go there I've played against, so I know their faces, but I've never played with any of them."

But before Aggen dons the Cougar uniform, she has some unfinished business with the Trojans.

"I just hope we keep winning and keep playing hard," Aggen said. "Our first game we struggled. I think we came off at Redwood a lot better than at Fulda. I guess you have to start somewhere. At least we started low so we can keep building."