McDonell at Stanley-Boyd girls basketball 11-30-18

McDonell's Abby Wampler puts up a layup during a game against Stanley-Boyd last November in Stanley.

Abby Wampler understands she’s part of an elite group.

Not just as a part of the roster for the Division 5 Girls North squad that will square off against the South team at this Friday’s Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game in Wisconsin Dells.

Wampler is also a part of an elite group of players from her program as she is the fourth McDonell player in five seasons to play in the game, joining recent roster members Sydney Schemenauer, Josie Verbick and Abby Opsal. Wampler recently wrapped up her senior season with the Macks where she averaged 14.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game for McDonell.

The 5-foot-8 senior guard was second on the team in scoring this season while earning first team All-Western Cloverbelt Conference accolades.

“She’s been playing basketball for a long time,” McDonell coach Don Cooper said of Wampler. “Ever since she was a little girl that was her dream to play in an all-star and all-state game and that’s always been her ambition and her drive. I’ve been very blessed to have four players in the last five years be able to make this all-star game. This is just a great blessing for the program.”

Wampler’s week leading up to Friday morning’s game at 9 a.m. at Justagame Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells will be full of practice as she gets to know her teammates, a roster of players from the area such as Clayton’s Alison Leslie and Kennedy Patrick, Owen-Withee’s Jennifer Wendler and Athens’ Kenadi Diedrich. Wampler has kept herself in basketball shape while practicing her shot and has received plenty of advice from Opsal, her teammate for three seasons before Opsal graduated and played in the game last year. Most of the practice time is spent installing the plays and concepts the team will use instead of fundamental building and conditioning that players might see in a normal practice during the season.

Some of her teammates have been adversaries in past postseasons and Wampler is excited to meet and get to know them, one of the things Opsal told her she enjoyed most.

“I think that I’ll leave here being a better player,” Wampler said. “Going along with all these other girls from all across Wisconsin who are obviously very good players, all in all I think we’ll make each other better and it will be a really great experience. I think they’ll push me and I’ll push them. I’m hoping to come out a better basketball player than I was going in.”

Wampler was a four-year varsity player for the Macks, helping the program win regional championships in 2017 and 2018.

The five girls all-star games will take place on Friday before the boys take center stage on Saturday.

“This is such a great accolade for Abby to end her career on a high note with this type of game,” Cooper said.

Friday’s game will cap one more week for Wampler to represent McDonell against the best the state has to offer.

“I’m very grateful to be able to play in this game and I hope we win obviously and that it goes good. I’m very excited for it,” Wampler said.

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Chippewa Herald sports editor

Chippewa Herald Sports Editor