ANCHORAGE - Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball coach Tim Moser announced Tuesday that three new players – center Viki Wohlers and guards Jenna Endisch and Tamar Gruwell – will take the court for the Seawolves next season. Endisch and Gruwell both signed National Letters of Intent, while Wohlers will come to UAA as a transfer from Division I Oregon State.
Wohlers, 6-4, who played one season at OSU, will be a sophomore in eligibility next year. Prior to her stint in Corvallis, Wohlers starred at Conserve School in Land O’ Lakes, Wis., earning first-team all-state honors at the Division 4 (small schools) level. As a senior she was the second-leading scorer in the state, averaging 26.6 points, 16.6 rebounds and 4.8 blocks.
The Wolfenbüttel, Germany, native came to the United States in 2005-06 as an exchange student at Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, Fla. At LMHS, she played on the school’s Class 6A (large schools) state championship squad. Wohlers comes from a strong basketball background as her father, Jurgen, captained the 1972 German Olympic Team and went on to a long pro career in Germany. Her brother Moritz played collegiately at Montana State Billings and is currently playing professionally in Great Britain.
Gruwell, 5-8, will also join the Seawolves as a transfer student, coming from the junior college ranks at Sierra (Calif.) College. As a sophomore last season, she earned WBCA Honorable Mention All-America, All-State and first-team All-Big 8 Conference honors, averaging 17.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. She shot 44.9 percent from the field, 42.8 percent on three-pointers and 95.8 percent (69-72) from the free throw line for the Wolverines, who went 27-7 overall and finished second in the Big 8.
Last December the Fairfield, Calif., native was featured in Sports Illustrated’s ‘Faces In the Crowd’ column for making 12 of 15 three-pointers in Sierra’s victory over Modesto. Her 12 treys and 45 points in that contest were both school records. An honors student, Gruwell was a multi-sport star at Vacaville High School where she was an all-conference cross country runner, won the league title in the 800 meters in track, and caught and hit clean-up for the softball team.
Endisch, 5-9, will head north after an impressive career at Muskego High in Muskego, Wis. As a senior last season she averaged 14.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.0 steals, 2.0 assists and shot 42 percent from three-point range, including a 7-for-7 showing against Pius XI on Feb. 11. A three-year starter for the Warriors, she led her squad to a 17-6 record (with all losses coming by six points or fewer) and a spot in the 2008 WIAA Division I Sectional title game. Endisch was also selected to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game and earned selection to the Community Newspapers All-Suburban Team.
“Viki’s addition will make will make us even stronger in the post, providing a great complement to (returning All-American) Rebecca Kielpinski,” said Moser, whose Seawolves are coming off a 30-5 campaign and an NCAA Div. II Semifinals appearance. “She has a great hook shot and will provide an intimidating presence on the defensive end.
“Both guards are lights-out shooters and tough, all-around athletes. Tamar has proven herself as one of the top JC players in California for the past two seasons, putting up some very impressive stats. She should step in right away and be a big contributor. Jenna has not been tested at the college level yet, but she showed the ability to carry her team through some big games in high school. I think we’re lucky to get her as a freshman, and I think she’ll surprise some people next year. She will play a huge role in continuing to keep our program at a high level.”
The newest signees bring UAA’s 2008-09 recruiting haul to five players, joining Jazzie Gaddy (5-10, Fr., F, Anchorage/East HS) and Kiki Taylor (5-5, Jr., G, Colorado Springs, Colo./Western Nebraska CC).