Linton/HMB's JayCee Richter is 'everything a coach could want'
JayCee Richter, a recent Linton/HMB graduate, was a natural selection to play collegiate level sports.
VALLEY CITY — When it came to choosing a sport to play in college JayCee Richter was faced with the ultimate dilemma — which one should she give up?
Not an easy decision when you look at the stat books and the contributions she has made on the floor.
Richter ended her prep hoops career with 448 points — eclisping the rest of the Lady Lion's squad by more than 120 points. The senior shot 52% from the floor and was 28.9% from behind the arc. She was tapping on the door of 70% from the line and out-rebounded the rest of her team by 40 — nabbing 158.
Richter was credited with 105 assists and recorded five of the team's seven blocks. She made 76 steals. She averaged just over 23 minutes on the court each night for a grand total of 9 hours, 12 minutes spent on the hardwoods this last winter.
Richter's all-star performance helped lead Linton/HMB to its first state tournament appearance since 2012, where they finished fifth.
A few months before she wrapped up the basketball season, Richter was celebrating with her volleyball team at the Bismarck Events Center.
Richter put 331 kills on the books in her final season with the Lady Lions, bringing her career total to 597. The standout also recorded 92 aces and 381 digs. She made 32 blocks of opposing hitters.
All told, Richter recorded 2,292 digs and served up 401 aces during her four years spent on the Linton/HMB volleyball squad.
"I have been watching JayCee play since she was 12," VCSU head volleyball coach Brigitte Greywater said. "One of my club teams was playing in the championship match at a Northern Cass tournament and I saw this tiny girl playing on a 12s team.
"I was like, who is this kid? She could play some volleyball and had a really high volleyball IQ for being 12. Her body was so small but she could do all of the skills."
Greywater said that as the years passed, Richter began developing more and more in every single position.
Richter was an all-district and all-region athlete all four years of her high school career then added all-state honors to the resume her junior and senior seasons. Linton/HMB wound up Class B State Volleyball champs going 25-11, 25-22, 25-22 against Northern Cass in the state championship match.
In two full volleyball seasons, Linton/HMB went 53-2.
Richter was a natural selection for the North Dakota All Star Volleyball series earlier this summer. Richter was a part of the Blue Team. The Blue Team topped the Red Team in both matches of the 2022 series.
"She is one of the most versatile athletes I have ever seen, Richter said. "She can play every position and the volleyball IQ is there."
With those kind of stats, how do you make a decision?
Greywater and VCSU head women's basketball coach Vanessa Johnson made it a little bit easier for the Region 3, District 6 standout.
"I love both basketball and volleyball and I really like both the programs at Valley," Richter said. "When both the coaches approached me about playing both, I was really excited because it would’ve been tough to be done with a sport that I love."
Richter, will move to VCSU August 7 and will begin training for her inaugural collegiate volleyball and basketball seasons.
"We're not Division I, we're not Division II, we're NAIA," Greywater said. "I believe in offering opportunities. Why you choose a certain school should be based on the opportunities you are given.
"I am personally not afraid to recruit a dual athlete. I think it is doable with the right kid, the right dedication and the right coaching staff who respects the other's programs."
Greywater said she has been very open with Richter in that if she is ever feeling overwhelmed to communicate with herself and Johnson because her new head coaches want Richter to be able to play both sports but added that they never want her to feel like she is being pulled in one direction.
"Volleyball is a little spoiled because we get her first but I told her that she should go and watch some basketball practices and see what they are doing," Greywater said. "She's going to be in shape for basketball out of volleyball season."
Greywater said following basketball season, she will not put Richter on the volleyball court for spring volleyball until she is ready. Greywater said she may use Richter during spring ball tournaments, but maybe not — and the Vikings will have to be OK with whatever the outcome is.
"I don't mind that because of what she can give us during the summer and how dedicated she is," Greywater said. "She's such a good kid."
Richter didn't wait until her prep career was over before she began preparing for next steps.
Greywater said that right after the 2022 Class B State Basketball Tournament concluded, Richter contacted her and asked about a weight-training program.
"I was like, oh just let your body rest a little bit but by April we had a program in her hands because she wanted to be the best," Greywater said. "She already has all of her eligibility requirements done, she asked about dates, forms, physicals when she needs to get everything done and she gets it done. She's a kid that you don't have to worry about."
The training program that Gerywater wrote up for Richter incorporated full-body lifts like hang cleans, power cleans, high-pulls so that she would be exposed to Olympic lifting so she can work on her explosiveness.
"Right now it’s basically just shooting lifting and conditioning for basketball and for volleyball it’s also lifting, conditioning, skill work and agility training," Richter said. "I usually train by myself unless I am in Valley — then I train with my team."
Richter is not the only athlete at VCSU who competes in multiple sports. Sadie Hansen, formerly of Oakes, competes in both volleyball and track and field. West Fargo grad and NSAA Freshman of the Year Ashlyn Diemert competes in both basketball and softball.
"What I will tell you is that it takes a very special person — a very special athlete — to balance both roles and JayCee is a kid that can do it. She is so dedicated to both sports," Greywater said.
"She has a time management ability and she had dedicated her life to the programs. She's a very well-rounded, disciplined young person and she's everything a coach could want in a program."