Trapper players commit to four-year programs

Posted 4/29/21

In a couple of months, two Northwest College men’s basketball players will climb to the NCAA Division II ranks.

Sophomores Jerome Mabry and Jaren Fritz signed their letters of intent at …

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Trapper players commit to four-year programs

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In a couple of months, two Northwest College men’s basketball players will climb to the NCAA Division II ranks.

Sophomores Jerome Mabry and Jaren Fritz signed their letters of intent at four-year schools last week. Mabry will join University of Minnesota Crookston, a D2 program that competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, while Fritz signed with Montana State University — Billings, which also competes at the Division II level in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

The two were centerpieces on NWC’s 2021 squad, serving as the Trappers’ two leading scorers and starting a combined 38 games.

Mabry spent two years in Powell, starting 48 games for the Trappers. As a senior, he averaged 13.6 points per game and led NWC with two offensive rebounds per game. The Milwaukee native earned an All-Conference Honorable Mention for his performance in 2021. 

As the Trapper standout makes the leap to the next level, he feels well prepared.

“NWC has helped me gain more confidence and helped me become a better overall leader,” Mabry said. “I’ve gotten a lot better and stronger from when I first came here.”

Before making his debut with the Golden Eagles, Mabry said he hopes to enhance his shooting and ball-handling abilities. He will spend significant time in the weight room, vying to improve his vertical jump and become stronger overall.

If he makes these improvements, Mabry knows he can once again be a leader, this time at the NCAA Division II realm.

“I hope to have winning years, average more points and just to continue to get better,” Mabry said. “I hope to leave Crookston with my name holding weight in the basketball program.”

Fritz played one season for the Trappers after transferring from Sheridan College in June 2020; he came after the Northern Wyoming Community College District, which includes Sheridan, scrapped its basketball program.

Fritz averaged a team-high 13.9 points per contest in his lone season in Powell while also leading the Trappers in 3-pointers made per game (2.8).

In both of Fritz’s college hoops stops so far, he grown significantly. 

“To be able to come to Powell and play a ton of minutes under a head coach [Jay Collins] who instilled a lot of trust into me — made me a better and more confident and experienced player,” Fritz said. “Sheridan was good because it was a huge jump from playing in high school; I learned how hard you truly have to work to take the next step, and both years helped me a lot.”

After visiting campus and acquainting himself with MSUB’s coaching staff, Fritz knew it was a perfect fit for him. He noted the knowledgeable personnel within the program, as well as being in a larger city, as reasons for choosing the school. 

In up to three years with the Yellow Jackets, Fritz hopes to lead the program to new heights while once again being a standout. If he shows the same development as he did in one season in Powell, Fritz can be that.

“I want to come in and contribute right away, and win 20 games every year,” he said. “I want to be a part of a winning culture and have fun with my teammates, hopefully scoring a bunch of points while I’m at it.”

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