BOZEMAN — Forsyth center Lindsey Hein is one of three players signed by the Montana State women’s basketball program Wednesday on the first day of the annual fall signing period.
Joining the 6-foot-6 center are Mia Hughes, a 5-10 forward from Woodinville, Washington, and Casey Arden, a 5-5 guard from Wodonga, Victoria, Australia.
“We are thrilled to announce our 2021 class,” MSU coach Tricia Binford said. “Although a smaller class for our program, they are a big impact class as they each bring such value to the program both on and off the court. All three are high character, high achieving student-athletes and have been very well coached at both the high school and club levels. We’re excited to have them join our Bobcat family.”
Hein is a three-time Class B all-state selection and a three-time all-conference choice. Last winter, she led Forsyth High School to a co-Class B state title.
At the Class B state tournament, Hein was averaging 22 points and eight rebounds, while also posting seven blocks and six assists. She was chosen to the Class B first-team all-tournament squad.
Hein also is a National Honor Society member and served on student council.
“We’re excited to have one of the best players in the state representing us in the blue and gold,” Binford said. “Lindsey comes from a championship team, has a champion work ethic, and will bring tremendous size and presence to our inside game. She has great versatility with the ability to post up, face up, and will excel in the high-low/ball screen offense.
“On the defensive end, Lindsey’s length can really disrupt shots, which will help us get out quickly in our transition game. This young lady is going to be a matchup nightmare and will continue to get better and better.”
Hughes, a two-time 4A KingCo Player of the Year, earned 2020 4A state tournament MVP honors despite her team dropping a 59-55 loss to Central Valley in the championship game. Hughes paced the Falcons with 28 points and finished the season averaging 22.2 points and 8.4 rebounds as WHS went 28-1 overall.
Hughes is a three-time 4A first-team all-state honoree and a three-time KingCo all-conference pick. Heading into her senior season, she has already posted 1,783 points and is looking to become one of the top 10 all-time scorers in Washington girls basketball history.
For her career, Hughes has averaged 21 points and 7.6 rebounds. She also is a National Honor Society member and is a King County Sheriff’s Office explorer and volunteer.
“The best way to describe Mia is proven,” Binford said. “She competes in everything she does and is one of the most consistent and elite players in the state of Washington and has been since her freshman year. Her impact is seen everywhere from scoring to rebounding, to off the charts free throw attempts. She brings a strength and physicality to our interior and will be dangerous in our hi-lo/ball screen offense. She is the player you hate to play against as she will outwork you every possession.”
Arden is a three-year member of the NBL1 Albury Wodonga Bandits in Austrailia. During the 2018-19 season, she played on the Wodonga Lady Wolves squad that won the Country Basketball League championship.
Arden has also been a member of Basketball Victoria Country’s U18 and U16 state squads as well as playing in the Wodonga Basketball Association from 2010-19. She was the U18 MVP during the 2018-19 campaign. She was also selected for the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup, which competed in New Zealand in 2017.
“Casey brings us great backcourt presence and skill set at point guard,” Binford said. “She played at one of the highest levels of competition in Australia. Casey plays for Lauren Jackson, a former WNBA champion and Australia Olympian. She is a very competitive player who is just flat out tough. Casey has an endless motor. She is extremely quick and aggressive and will give opponents fits for an entire game. She has a great savviness to the game and will be terrific in our ball screen offense as a great ball handler and playmaker.”