Minnesota women’s basketball head coach Lindsay Whalen announced Friday the signing of center Sophie Hart to the Gophers’ program. Hart is a 6-5 graduate of Farmington High School, who played two seasons at NC State, and will join Minnesota with two years of eligibility.

“I am excited to announce our signing of Sophie Hart today,” Whalen said. “Sophie is a proud Minnesotan and we are excited to welcome her back home and help her continue to grow on and off the court. Sophie adds incredible size and strength to our front court and will be a welcome addition to our team. Off the court Sophie is a great student who will represent our program and the University of Minnesota with our Gold Standard.”

Hart will be eligible to play for the Gophers in the 2023-24 season after she played five games earlier this season with the Wolfpack. Hart will be able to practice with the Golden Gophers for the remainder of the 2022-23 season.

In two seasons at NC State Hart played in 25 career games, 20 coming during her freshman campaign in 2021-22. Hart played in the Wolfpack’s 2022 NCAA Tournament run during her freshman season, making her postseason debut against Longwood.

Prior to her time at NC State, Hart was the leading scorer (16.9 points per game) on a Farmington team that was 29-2, won the South Suburban Conference and section championships, and reached the Class 4A final. The Tigers won their first two state tournament games and were to play No. 1 ranked Hopkins in the final before the tournament was halted because of the pandemic. In her final prep game, which was the semifinal of the 2020 state tournament, Hart had perhaps her best all-around performance with 22 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists at Williams Arena.

Coming out of high school Hart was the No. 64 ranked overall recruit in the class of 2021 and the No. 5 ranked player at her position by ESPN. She was also ranked No. 40 in the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report rankings. Hart was a 2021 McDonald’s All-America Game Nominee and was a four-time All-State honoree. As a sophomore in high school she was the PrepHoops Breakout Player of the Year and also participated in the 2019 Team USA Trials.

Hart joins Minnesota’s 2023-24 recruiting class that includes Kennedy Klick (Maple Grove, Minn.), McKynnlie Dalan (Montesano, Wash.), Ajok Madol (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), Dominika Paurová (Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic) and Brynn Senden (Wayzata, Minn.).

(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)

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