Sanders finds ‘great fit’ with Vikings

<p>Hermiston's Shelby Sanders dribbled around Springfield's Mercedes Russell in the state semifinals Friday in Eugene.</p>

HERMISTON — Hermiston Bulldog senior Shelby Sanders has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for the Portland State University Vikings for the 2014-2015 season and beyond.

Sanders said she feels great about her decision to become a Viking.

“It’s a great fit for me,” she said. “I really enjoyed my visit there. I knew then that Portland State was going to be the right choice.”

Sanders said that succeeding academically played a part in her decision-making process.

“They have a lot of different educational options,” she said. “That was just as important as the on the court aspect of my decision.”

Sanders met with staff from PSU’s School of Business while touring campus. She said studying business in a bigger city would be a great way to learn.

“I haven’t decided what I’ll study yet,” she said. “However, I’m excited to learn about all of the different offerings Portland State has.”

The Vikings head coach is Sherri Murrell. Sanders said she is excited for the opportunity to play for Murrell.

“I think coach Murrell is an amazing coach,” Sanders said. “I’m honored that I’ll get to play for her.”

Sanders noted that the friendly culture Murrell has built at PSU piqued her interest in attending school there.

“It’s like a family,” she said. “Everyone I’ve talked to, from the coaching staff,  to current and former players, everyone has been so nice. It’s a really close-knit community.”

Sanders, a post for the Bulldogs, averaged 9.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game last season, which earned her second-team All-Columbia River Conference honors.

She’ll be headed to a Vikings program that finished its 2012-13 campaign 12-17, 6-14 in conference play.

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