A two-time 1A state champion and a back-to-back First Team All-Northwest Conference basketball player is heading to Western Washington University.
Demi Dykstra is a senior at Lynden Christian High School. This year, she averaged nine points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals per game.
The Lyncs fell short of winning their third straight state championship after a 43-36 loss to their rival Nooksack Valley in the championship game.
The Dykstra name is one people in Whatcom County are used to seeing on team rosters at Western. Most recently, Riley and Avery Dykstra were part of the women’s basketball National Runner Up team in 2022.
“I’m really excited to play under the coaches because my mom played under her [and so did] my aunt and my cousins,” Demi said.
Western’s women’s head basketball coach Carmen Dolfo has led the team since 1990.
Demi’s mother and aunt, Devin Dykstra, also played under Dolfo. Kelly was a conference second team member in 2006. Devin played for both the softball and women’s basketball teams during her time at Western.
“I always knew I could have the opportunity to play [for WWU] if I worked hard,” Demi said.
Working hard is just what Demi did during her time at Lynden Christian High School. She took home two state championships in basketball, once as a freshman and once as a junior.
Her high school basketball head coach, Brady Bomber, coached Demi for all four years at Lynden Christian.
“Demi was a great point guard for us,” Bomber said.
During Demi’s freshman year in 2020, she did not see any playing time in the state championship game. But in her junior season, she was a crucial part of earning the victory.
“It’s always been my dream to play in state championships,” Demi said.
In the 2022 1A championship game, Lynden Christian and Nooksack Valley took the game into overtime. With the score at 55-56, Lynden Christian was down by one with under 15 seconds left in the overtime period.
“One of the special things about Demi was she was able to manage a lot of the playmaking role for our team,” Bomber said.
Demi passed the ball to her teammate, Libby Stump, who drove left and made the game-winning shot for the Lyncs to become state champions for the second time in Demi’s career.
“It meant a lot more to me because I was actually a part of it, and I had a big role in that game and in that season,” Demi said.
Demi competed in a combined four 1A state championship games playing varsity soccer and basketball while at Lynden Christian.
This year, Demi helped her soccer team place second in state after a 3-1 loss to Klahowya Secondary School in the state championship game.
Brent DeRuyter has been Demi’s head soccer coach since her freshman year. He has seen how she has grown as a player in soccer despite having her main focus on basketball.
“She was naturally a leader just by how hard she worked,” DeRuyter said.
Demi scored the only goal for the Lyncs in the state championship game.
“It was 65 yards of just, ‘I’m willing myself to the goal, and you’re not gonna stop me,’” DeRuyter said.
Despite having so much success on the soccer pitch, Demi will be lacing up for the women’s basketball team at Western next year.
“I could very easily see her just being the player who does the dirty work,” DeRuyter said.
She will join her cousin, Riley Dykstra, who is entering her junior season on a team that reached the West Regional quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament in March.
Demi is interested in studying education during her time at Western with a career goal of becoming an elementary teacher.
Zen Hill (he/him) is a sports reporter for The Front. He is studying journalism with a public relations focus with hopes of becoming a sports broadcaster. He comes from Julian, a small town in San Diego County where he grew up playing basketball, soccer, track and field and baseball.