One of the top girls basketball players in southeastern Minnesota has chosen to stay close to home to play college basketball.

Lake City’s Natalie Bremer, a 5-foot-11 guard, verbally committed to Minnesota State, Mankato on Monday. The Mavericks play in the highly regarded Division II Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

Bremer, also a standout volleyball player, will be a senior this fall at Lake City.

“This feels really good,” said Bremer, who averaged 21.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 3.1 assists for a Lake City team that reached the Class AA state tournament this past season.

“I know that the NSIC is really a competitive league. It’ll be great to be a part of that. I also like that it felt like home when I visited there, and that Ali Hunstad plays there.”

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Hunstad is a 6-foot guard who graduated in 2020 from Zumbrota-Mazeppa and played this past season at Minnesota State, Mankato. Bremer is familiar with her, with both schools members of the Hiawatha Valley League.

Hunstad participated in five games this past season at Mankato and averaged 2.2 points. The Mavericks finished 8-5 in the NSIC and 9-7 overall.

“Ali and I are pretty close,” Bremer said. “I talked to her about making a decision (on a future college). She gave me a lot of insight and was really helpful.”

Bremer is coming off a season in which she was named to the Post Bulletin All-Area Girls Basketball first team and was also the HVL Player of the Year.

An athletic 5-11 with plenty of versatility to her game, Bremer can drive, score from midrange and shoot 3-pointers. Bremer is also quick and sturdy, and with a keen interest in playing defense. The latter was demonstrated with her averaging slightly more than four steals per game this year.

Lake City coach Clay Olstad knows what Minnesota State, Mankato and the NSIC are getting in Bremer. It’s a lot.

“She is going to be a great addition to that program and a great add to the NSIC,” Ostad said. “Natalie seems to improve her game every year, continually adding something to it. No one else puts all of the time and effort into it that she does. She can score at all three levels, hit midrange and 3-pointers, and also handled the ball a lot for us. She’ll be a great combo guard.”

Bremer is spending the summer working on her game in the family driveway and the Lake City gymnasium, as well as playing for the Wisconsin Playmakers Showcase team, which is based in Eau Claire, Wis.

Bremer was part of an extremely talented Lake City junior class this past season. It propelled the Tigers to a 19-4 record, a 14-game winning streak and a spot in the state tournament.