Hayfield senior Ethan Slaathaug signed a letter of intent to play men's college basketball at Dakota State University on Tuesday.

Dakota State is an NAIA Division II college located in Madison, S.D.

"He wasn't so caught up on what level it was, he just wanted to go someplace where he could play, hopefully right away," Hayfield boys basketball coach Chris Pack said. "Obviously, no guarantees."

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Dakota State finished the 2020-21 season with an 11-15 record.

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"I think it's a good fit and he got a good deal from them and they have a pretty good team in their conference," Pack said. "They're bringing back a lot, but I know they're excited to have him."

Slaathaug, a 6-foot-3 guard, had a stellar senior season as he helped guide Hayfield to a Class A state championship. The Vikings finished their championship season with a 21-4 overall record.

Slaathaug, who was named to the Class A All-Tournament team at state, scored 20 points in a narrow 61-60 victory over Hancock in the championship game.

"The biggest thing with him is he played his best in the biggest games," Pack said. "In the playoffs is where he really stepped up. I think that says a lot about a player; the big stage wasn't too big for him. He shined when it mattered most."

Slaathaug has been a stellar all-around player and leader for the Hayfield team the past two seasons. As a senior, he averaged 25.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game and was named to the Post Bulletin All-Area First Team.

He finished second on Hayfield's all-time scoring list with more than 1,800 career points. He also played football and baseball for the Vikings and as a senior also ran cross country in the fall.

Dakota State didn't start recruiting Slaathaug until late in his senior basketball season.

"I know they kind of view him as a combo guard, being able to play the point or off the ball," Pack said. "And just his length and his ability to score from anywhere, they were more and more impressed with him the more they saw him."