University of New Mexico signs rising Bendigo Spirit and Lady Braves star Ahlise Hurst

Ahlise Hurst will head to the University of New Mexico later this year. Picture: CRAIG DILKS PHOTOGRAPHY
Ahlise Hurst will head to the University of New Mexico later this year. Picture: CRAIG DILKS PHOTOGRAPHY

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AHLISE Hurst’s blossoming basketball career will take the Bendigo teenager all way to the United States.

The 18-year-old, who represents Bendigo’s WNBL and SEABL teams, has secured a scholarship to play with the University of New Mexico (UNM) during the 2018-19 US college season.

Her recruitment was lauded by UNM head coach Mike Bradbury, who said he was excited about Hurst’s addition to the program.

“She's a skilled scorer that has high level experience,” Bradbury said.

“We expect Ahlise's offensive repertoire to be a perfect fit in our up-tempo system."

It’s been a whirlwind 12-months for the 179cm guard, who was last month named in the Australian national squad for the FIBA Under-18 Asian Championships.

Hurst gained quality international experience last July, playing for the national team in the FIBA Under-17 Women's Oceania Championships in Guam.

She made her Women’s National Basketball League debut against Melbourne Boomers last October and played 14 games in her first season as a development player with Bendigo Spirit.

Hurst turned heads with a breakout game against eventual WNBL champions Townsville Fire in December, scoring a team-high 15 points on seven of eight shooting and grabbing two rebounds.

Ahlise Hurst

Ahlise Hurst

She is currently averaging three-points per game and 1.8 rebounds per game for Bendigo Braves, who have started the SEABL season a perfect 5-0.

The Lobos are coming off a record-setting season in which the program set records for scoring average, total points, field goals and three-pointers made. 

UNM went 25-11, tying for the third-most wins in school history, and advanced to the third round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.