Cody High School senior Torrie Schutzman doesn’t mind the eight-and-a-half-hour drive to the college she’ll be attending next fall for basketball.
After all, it was traveling around with a summer team out of Bozeman all over the West that proved to her parents she could play collegiately.
“She’s always wanted to play at the next level,” father Rod Schutzman said.
The Fillies star shooting guard recently signed to play at the University of Jamestown in eastern North Dakota. She plans to study exercise science as she said there is a really good physical therapy program.
The NAIA school is located in the town of Jamestown, only slightly bigger than Cody, which is perfect for Schutzman.
“I love the location,” she said. “And they have a great facility.”
Schutzman said she was looking at a handful of other schools, but when she took a tour in Jamestown she was hooked. It helped that she had the opportunity to choose her college prior to her senior year, taking some advice she got from former soccer teammate Moran Heydenberk, who graduated last year.
“It will definitely be a non-stressful year,” she said. “Moran said it took a lot of stress off.”
Schutzman will also be able to play for Cody knowing she’ll be in a similar system at Jamestown, which runs a run-and-again. It’s a style of basketball she’s very comfortable with, as she worked with it while with her Bozeman travel team.
“They’re a fast-paced shooting team and that’s what they liked most about me, my shooting ability,” she said.
Last season, the Jimmies advanced to the quarterfinals of the Great Plains Athletic Conference postseason tournament and finished with a 16-15 record.
“We’re really excited about her playing for us,” Jamestown head coach Thad Sankey said. “She’ll fit our program well and her ability to shoot made her stand out. We run a lot and shoot a ton of threes and she’ll love that.”
The youngest of four sisters, Schutzman said she learned how to walk and then, not long after, how to dribble.
“My older sisters played so I was always in the gym watching them play as I grew up,” she added. “My favorite part about playing is just the feeling I get when I step on the court. Nothing feels better than that. Playing alongside my teammates it’s also just awesome.”
Last year Schutzman led Cody with 11.3 points per game, 2.8 steals per game and 2.2 assists per game.
She has started for the Fillies since her freshman year and earned All-Conference honors as a sophomore and junior.
Cody coach Chris Wagner has said previously he sees her as a team leader.
“Torrie was our most potent scorer for most of the season,” he said after last season. “Defensively she has playmaking ability and was top-five in the conference for steals.”
Now she’ll have the chance to focus on leading Cody on the court with her next step secured.
“My personal goals for my final season is just to improve each and every day,” she said. “I want to get to the line more often and that’s going to mean driving more and using different types of finishes. I also want my shooting percentage to be at a good number as well as my steals, assists and rebounds.”
(Amber Peabody contributed to this story)