Senior Abby Oliver signs to play basketball at Washburn with her parents Kelly and Jason Oliver. “The coaches and program at Washburn were a really good fit for me. I also felt at home in the atmosphere of the school and how it is a small community feel,” Abby said. Photo by Laurel Barber.
Oliver celebrates signing in ceremony at WHS
Senior Abby Oliver signed to Washburn University to continue her basketball career Monday.
The signing was held in the commons and had a large turn out, including elementary classes Oliver has worked with through career and community connections.
Principal Jan Hutley and basketball coach Shana Perine both spoke at the signing. “I’ve had the privilege of watching her compete since she was very small in a variety of sports,” Hutley said, “and though she is multitalented, good at every sport she’s ever participated in, I have to say there’s a special place in my heart watching her play basketball.”
“She’s absolutely a great leader, she means well, she wants her team to do their best and you can see that on the floor. When she is on the floor our team is better,” Perine said.
Oliver’s father, Jason Oliver, also spoke on her accomplishments. “Her mom and I are extremely proud of all the hours Abby’s put in, it’s awesome for her.”
Oliver has an impressive high school sports career, including cross country, tennis, volleyball, basketball, and softball, making the decision a difficult one. “It was a really hard decision to choose between softball and basketball, since I had put so much time and work into both, but basketball has also been slightly the favorite,” Oliver said, “ I love how the game is so fast paced, and you’re always moving and having to read the situations in front of you.”
Oliver also had other schools reach out to her. “I had some other schools show interest, especially at some of the larger AAU tournaments Madelyn (Hutley) and I played in over the summer.” Oliver said, although she ultimately landed on Washburn. “The coaches and program at Washburn were a really good fit for me. I also felt at home in the atmosphere of the school and how it is a “small community” feel. Being so close to home was just a big plus.”
Oliver plans to take lessons she learned in high school with her to college. “I think a big lesson that WHS sports have shown everyone and continue to show is the off-season work that you put in really makes the difference. My coaches here have also always pushed me and my teammates to our fullest potential.”
— Emma Frey, @_emmafrey_