MSU media relations

Mississippi State adds Australian star Chloe Bibby to 2017 recruiting haul.

Mississippi State had already inked a top 20 class, but with seniors Ketara Chapel and Breanna Richardson moving on from the Bulldog roster, Coach Vic Schaefer needed a forward. State signed Australian national team member Chloe Bibby last week adding another important piece to the Bulldog program.

The land "down under" is a bit off of the normal recruiting landscape for Mississippi State. While the Bulldogs were interested from the very start, Bibby had to do her share of recruiting the Bulldogs before things really took off. Like just about all prospects, the 6-1 forward had to put some film together and get it in the right hands.

"I had a talent scout in Australia who sent my highlight tape to the last assistant coach and we just moved forward from there," Bibby explained. "I visited the (Mississippi State) campus in November of last year. The facilities where amazing and really stood out beyond anything else, but more importantly the community atmosphere and genuine positivity and welcoming of people impressed me the most."

Many Bulldog fans have expressed an interest in learning how Bibby, a professional player, could be eligible for amateur athletics in America. Having the chance to play at the highest levels in her home country had been a huge honor, but the talented forward was careful to protect her American college eligibility.

"I played in the WNBL which is Australia highest professional league for women," Bibby shared. "The NCAA has strict rules on playing in a professional league, so I was not paid in anyway making me eligible to play college ball. I always knew I wanted to come to America to play, so I always signed a contract which allowed me to do that."

A handful of stateside schools showed interest, some extended offers. In the end, Bibby officially visited Fordham and Mississippi State before making her verbal commitment to the Bulldog coaching staff.

"I really believe in the coaching staff and team's philosophy and when I verbally committed it was because I believed Mississippi state was on the way up," Bibby said. "I think they proved that when they went to the final. It is a team that works hard and plays hard and that's what I am as a player, so it's a perfect fit."

Mississippi State gained some fans in Australia as Bibby and those close to her were able to cheer for the Bulldogs from afar as they advanced to the NCAA Women's National Championship game last month.

"I watched all the girls games over the tournament and I was super impressed with how they played and their aggression, so I'm excited to come into a team like that," Bibby said. "I will be moving to Starkville in August."

Bibby will be leaving those she loves behind in order to make her college basketball dreams come true. The task of beginning a new life on a new continent will be daunting, but the chance to chase a National Championship was simply too good to pass on.

"Obviously it will be hard being so far away from my family, but I know I will be surrounded by new friends and experiences, so I'll be fine," Bibby said. "I'm a tough aggressive player who wants to win at all costs. I will do everything to win and help Mississippi State get back the finals and win a championship."

Wearing number 25 for the Bendigo Braves of the SEABL, Bibby is sharpening her skills and finishing up her coursework in anticipation of a fall enrollment at Mississippi State Bibby is expected to spend most of the summer competing with the Braves as well as some time with the Australian Women's National team program.

Bibby's signing is the fifth for the 2017 signing class. Four other players inked with State during the fall. Olive Branch super star guard Myah Taylor, Terry High School product Nyah Tate, Auburn transfer Jonika Garvin and Little Rock, Arkansas Bre'Amber Scott have already been announced as Lady Bulldog signees. 

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