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April 08, 2010 3:39 am

Bodra commits to South Dakota

Written by Tribune Staff

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Northwest College sophomore Ricardo Andreotti Bodra slams the ball down during action this past winter. After two productive years with NWC, Bodra gave verbal confirmation that he will sign a letter of intent later this month to continue his playing career at Division I South Dakota. Tribune photo by John Wetzel

Two-year Trapper will ink D-I letter later this month

Good things come to those who wait.

Northwest College sophomore Ricardo Andreotti Bodra wanted to focus on his season with the Trappers and postponed taking multiple campus visits during the fall semester. The University of South Dakota first noticed Bodra during a scrimmage in Salt Lake City early in Bodra's freshman season but had to wait two years.

Now it appears both will get exactly what they want. Northwest College men's basketball coach Andy Ward announced this week that Bodra has given a verbal commitment to the Coyotes. Bodra is expected to sign a letter of intent later this month when the official signing window opens.

“It has been my dream to get a Division I offer,” said Bodra. “I knew in junior college that I had to work hard to get a chance at that level. I guess I'm fortunate that it happened for me.”

South Dakota, which won both the regular season and conference tournament titles in the Great West Conference as part of a 22-10 campaign this year, is a transitional Division I program. The Coyotes will join the well-established Summit League during the 2011-2012 season, Bodra's senior season.

“Everyone wants to be part of a successful program,” Bodra said. “They've had 20 or more wins for the last seven years and that was part of my decision for going there. I'm really excited to get to be a part of that program and hopefully to help them increase that streak.”

During two seasons with the Trappers, Bodra led Northwest College in blocked shots both seasons, finishing his career with 71. He averaged 8.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game throughout his NWC career while shooting at better than a 47 percent clip from the floor. Bodra expects to step in at power forward for the Coyotes.

“They told me they're looking for a four-man (power forward),” Bodra said. “The guy they've had playing there graduates this year and he's going to play professionally overseas. I don't know if I'll be able to replace him, but I'm going to do my best.”

“South Dakota is getting a great fit,” Ward said of Bodra. “They've recruited him hard all year and it really is a win-win situation for both Ricardo and their program. His approach to the game in terms of his effort and his attitude is going to be very hard for us to replace. It has been an absolute pleasure to coach Ricardo.”

For Bodra, the decision to commit to South Dakota brings a relieving end to a process that he fought to keep from being a distraction to his sophomore season.

“It's an exciting process,” Bodra said of the recruiting by four-year schools. “South Dakota saw me in Salt Lake City during my freshman year and came back to watch at other scrimmages. They had a coach come to a tournament in Powell this year as well.

“I didn't know it would be as stressful a process as it was when I got down to the deadline and had to give an answer. Other schools wanted me to visit, but South Dakota was my first visit and I liked it there.”

When he goes to South Dakota, Bodra says he'll take a number of memories of his time with the Trappers. Not all of those memories will be basketball-oriented.

“I know sometimes the season gets stressful and people get tired, but the feeling I had on game days playing in Cabre Gymnasium is something I can't compare to any other thing,” Bodra said. “My biggest memories though, I think, will be the amazing time I've had with my host family and just the friends and the people in town. I've really enjoyed it here.”

Bodra becomes the second member of the Trappers' roster in the past two seasons to accept a scholarship at an NCAA Division I program. Julian Olubuyi completed his junior season this year with the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks.

Bodra is not the only member of the Trappers' 2010 sophomore class expected to continue his basketball career at a four-year school.

Ward noted that both Casper Hesseldal and Mitch Ackelson were in the process of taking campus visits. Hesseldal's options, according to Ward, “are really all over the map” and range from NAIA to Division I offers.

Ackelson is also receiving interest from a variety of levels, primarily NAIA and Division II programs.

“Both of them have all kinds of options,” said Ward. “They'll have an intense recruiting process.”