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Freedom's Josie Hise (left) swarms a South Caldwell ballhandler in an early February 2020 road game.

HICKORY — Josie Hise’s most recent basketball game, the NCHSAA 3A West Regional final, was at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Her next game will be for Lenoir-Rhyne University.

The Freedom senior guard recently committed to the Bears for the class of 2020, Lady Patriots coach Amber Reddick said.

Hise this past winter had verbally committed to play for L-R’s NCAA Division II South Atlantic Conference rival, Catawba, before changing her mind when Indians coach Terrence Baxter left the team midseason for personal reasons. He’s since been replaced as coach.

“I was talking to the new L-R coach (Grahm Smith, who was hired April 6),” Reddick said, “and mentioned (Josie) was still available and it all sort of took off from there. It’s where she really wanted to go so I’m excited for her.”

Reddick said Hise hopes to sign with L-R soon.

Hise joins Freedom teammate Blaikley Crooks as a 2020 L-R recruit as Crooks signed in November 2019. The two recently became the first-ever Lady Patriot teammates selected for the East-West All-Star Game in the same season. They ranked second and third in Burke County for scoring this past year, leading Freedom to a 29-0 start and the FHS Christmas Invitational title as well as their fifth straight Northwestern 3A/4A Conference regular-season and tournament titles.

Hise, a former county and conference player of the year, was named NWC Tournament MVP, All-NWC, all-county, second team all-district and All-FHS Christmas Invitational as she led the team in scoring this season.

As a senior, she averaged 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists (third in county) and 2.8 steals (second in county).

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