BY DENNIS CHASE
TRAVERSE CITY — It's not often a basketball player from northern Michigan receives a scholarship to a high profile Big Ten program.
It happened twice in 2010 when Suttons Bay's Dwaun Anderson and Central Lake's Jasmine Hines signed with Michigan State.
The 6-foot-3 Hines deliberated nearly two years after receiving her offer before committing to the Spartans over Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern and DePaul. She reached her decision in July.
By comparison, the 6-foot-3 Anderson needed just 10 minutes to make his choice.
The high-flying Anderson didn't hesitate when Spartans coach Tom Izzo offered in May. Anderson talked to his family for about 10 minutes and then verbally committed.
"I had no doubts at all," said Anderson, who also had offers from Central Michigan, Oakland and Utah.
"This was Dwaun's dream come true," Suttons Bay basketball coach Todd Hursey said. "It's special for a small town player to get a Big Ten scholarship, but Michigan State is one of the premier programs in the country."
Spartan fans had a chance to watch Anderson on Tuesday night when the Norsemen played Saginaw Buena Vista at the Breslin Center. Anderson led Suttons Bay to a 25-2 record and a spot in the Class C state finals at the Breslin Center last March by averaging 20 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4 assists per game.
"A phenomenal athlete," Izzo said. "Not under the radar because he was recruited by a lot of schools. But under the radar because he's from Suttons Bay."
Anderson is part of a nationally-ranked recruiting class that includes 6-6 forward Brandon Dawson of Indiana, 6-6 forward Brandon Kearney of Detroit and 6-foot guard Travis Trice of Ohio.
"If you look at the four guys we got, they're all winners," Izzo said. "They've all either been state champs or been to state semifinals. And they've all been pretty well coached. That was a big thing to me. And the real big thing, they all wanted to be here."
Two months after Anderson committed, Hines did, too. She told Spartans coach Suzy Merchant — a Traverse City native — on a visit to East Lansing in June.
"I got to feel what it would be like to be on the team," Hines said. "I had a great time with all of the girls. I got to interact with the coaching staff and it pushed me over the edge and made me want to go there.
"I've always had a lot of love for Michigan State."
Hines gave serious thought to Michigan.
"Really in the end, it was Michigan and Michigan State," Hines said. "I loved the campus, the environment and the people (at Michigan), but basketball played a part in it. Michigan is in a rebuilding process. At Michigan State, they already have a good program."
The Spartans are currently ranked No. 12 in the country. Michigan State, now 12-1, has won 10 in a row.
Hines averaged 34.6 points, 17.7 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game last season in leading Central Lake to the Class D semifinals.
"Jasmine has the physical strength and skill-set to come in as a freshman and make an immediate impact in the Big Ten at the post position," Merchant said. "She has tremendous hands and is a superior athlete for her size. She is a power post player that has also shown the ability to face up and attack the basket from the perimeter as well."
Hines is part of a heralded recruiting class that includes 6-4 forward Becca Mills of Midland Dow, 5-11 forward Akyah Taylor of Indiana and point guard Kiana Johnson of Chicago.
"State has a great basketball program," Hines said. "They have a bunch of top-notch recruits in the freshman class this year — they got all the top recruits out of Michigan, basically — and you put that group together with the girls in my class, that's good stuff."
Hines set state records last season for points scored (935) and rebounds (478). Coming into her senior year, she ranked fourth all-time in career rebounds (1,317) and sixth in points (2,322).