Go Jacks! Because this week we’re having a look at South Dakota State University. There, our golfer Hester Sicking is part of the group of student-athletes called the Jackrabbits!

In May last year, Hester signed with South Dakota State. In September the time had come, Hester exchanged Bloemendaal for a life as a student athlete in the USA. There she plays golf and does a major in psychology. Hester is currently 16th in the Dutch rankings and is a good addition to the team that golfs in Division I. The team released this article after Hester signed. Assistant coach Maggie Murphy says the following about Hester’s arrival:

“We are thrilled Hester has chosen to be a Jackrabbit; she is a great addition to our program! From the first conversation, we were impressed with her intelligence and character,”

Nice compliments, Hester! Hester has now been part of the university for a while. So we asked her what she likes the most so far, she gave the following answer:

“The best thing about South Dakota State University is that it’s a big campus, but it feels small because everyone knows each other and spends time together!”

Hester Sicking – Student-athlete

Want to know more about Hester’s university? Keep on reading!


SDSU is a ‘private university’ founded in 1881, making it the oldest university in South Dakota. Every year, around 11,400 students study at SDSU. The campus is located in Brookings, a small town of about 25,000 inhabitants. The SDSU campus is divided into the Main, West and East Campus. You can see a video of the campus below!

The university has some huge and beautiful athletic facilities available for the Jackrabbits. Below we show a number of them!

The huge Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium is brand new, serving as the home ground for the American Football Team since 2016. There is room for 19,300 spectators! On September 8, 2016, the stadium was opened, a country concert was held where famous country singers Lee Brice and Luke Bryan performed. Since then, many games and events have been held. You can see a photo of the stadium below!

Another beautiful stadium is the Frost Arena, it is the stadium where basketball, volleyball and wrestling matches are held. There is seating for 6,500 fans. In February 1989, the SDSU basketball team played a match against Augustana, during that match a record number of spectators was achieved: 9456! Stand or sit, the game was exciting enough! In the picture below you can see what the atmosphere in the Frost Arena is like, how cool ?!

And yet another large indoor stadium is the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex. It is a multifunctional place where training and competitions are held for several sports. You can see the complex below.

Of course we also take a look at the facilities that Hester uses! Since 2018, there has been an indoor hall for the golf teams where all players can train their skills. This is the Robert ‘Biddy’ Miller Indoor Golf Practice Facility. Rain or shine, this makes training always possible under perfect conditions. You can see it in the picture below.

Then there is of course also a Country Club where outdoor training and matches take place. It’s the Brooking Country Club. The golf course has 18 holes and, in addition to being home to the golf teams of SDSU, it is also used for many tournaments! In the picture below you can see a small part of the golf course. Beautiful right?

In addition to the above, many more great facilities can be found on campus. A soccer field, a center for equestrian sports, a beautiful sports pool, a soft and baseball arena and more. Would you like to see more? Then check out this page with facilities!

Would you like to see more of the campus in general? Click here for a virtual campus tour!


The Jackrabbits consist of a total of 17 sports teams, 9 women’s teams and 8 men’s teams. Where the men play baseball, american football and wrestling, there are women’s teams in equestrian, softball, soccer and volleyball. The teams all participate within Divsion I but in different competitions, namely: the Summit League, the Missouri Valley Football Conference and the Big 12 Conference.

You’ve probably already noticed, the university colors of the Jackrabbits are blue and yellow! Besides the cheering squad and fans, the teams are also cheered on by their mascot. And you probably guessed it… his name is Jack Rabbit! You can see Jack in the picture on the right.

With a lot of fans, cheering squads and a mascot it should be fine you would think. But um, what if they all just start shouting different things? USDS, like other American universities, has of course come up with something for that. Their own fight song! You can find a piece of the lyrics below. Can you already sing it along Hester?!

Ring the bell for South Dakota
The Yellow and the Blue;

Cheer the team from South Dakota
With loyal hearts so true;

Win the game for South Dakota
The school that serves us well;

We will fight for South Dakota
SO let’s ring, ring, ring those bells

In total, the university won 8 National Championships, the most recent of which was in 2003 by the basketball women. However, an individual national championship was won in 2018. Wrestler Seth Gross took the title, which is the first national individual title in the history of the school. You can see a picture of Seth below. In any case, we don’t dare to challenge him to a game of wrestling … What a champ!

And did you know that Hester’s team is currently 84th on the National Ranking of all DI teams? A great achievement because there are a lot of them ..! Last year they ended up 110th in the national rankings, so the team has made a nice climb. And there is for sure more to come, Hester .. Go Jacks!

Want to see more from the Jackrabbits? Then have a look at the athletic website or check out SDSU Athletics on Youtube!


Studying, that’s what the Jackrabbits do. Because that is also an important part of the life of a student athlete. Hester studies psychology, but there are also many other studies offered at the university. The studies in the university are divided into the following categories:

  • College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Education and Human Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Pharmacy

To see what the study you prefer is like on SDSU, you should check out this page.

You have probably become a lot wiser about SDSU. But still a few last facts, because did you know that…

  • SDSU students come from 49 different states and more than 70 different countries?
  • The average GPA score is 3.46?
  • SDSU in addition to its good academic and athletic program, is also known as the ‘Number One Party School’ in South Dakota? This is based on student reviews. (Would you like to study at SDSU? Better leave this fact aside for your parents 😉
  • There is a total of almost 2000 people working at SDSU?

Okay, one last fact then! Did you know that Mayka Hogenboom won the airline ticket giveaway last year because she connected Hester to us ?! That was a golden match! Are you also participating in the giveaway this year? It has already started! Check this insta post for more info!

Does the life of a student athlete seem like something to you now? Or would you like more information about scholarships and your options? Please contact us and we will help you further!