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Abby Brockmeyer's unusual journey to Saluki basketball

Submitted by Will Becque, Saluki Athletics
updated: 11/1/2017 4:16 PM

Abby Brockmeyer's journey to playing NCAA Division I basketball at Southern Illinois University was anything but typical.

Basketball served as a test of Brockmeyer's resolve early in her career. In junior high, she had to play with the boys' team because her school didn't have enough players to field its own girls' team.

After middle school, Brockmeyer graduated to Lincolnwood High School, a small school of roughly 136 students in her hometown of Raymond.

With so few students, Lincolnwood decided to co-op for sports with Litchfield High School, a Class 2A high school 15 miles away. Though Litchfield was just a town over, it initially felt like a world away to Brockmeyer as a freshman in high school.

"Coming in as a freshman, I didn't really know anyone so it was a unique situation," Brockmeyer said.

Brockmeyer made the trek to Litchfield each day during basketball season for practices and games. At various times during her four years, two others from Raymond joined Brockmeyer in making the daily trip.

The Lincolnwood castoffs did get to play one game a year on their home floor, and the 6-2 guard/forward made the most of that opportunity as a junior. She scored her 1,000th career point just 61 seconds into Litchfield's season opener against Nokomis on Nov. 19, 2015.

Brockmeyer went on to be selected to her third All-State team after a senior campaign in which she led Litchfield to a 25-4 record. She averaged a double-double for the Purple Panthers, which included an area-leading 25.1 points per game and an astounding 16.5 rebounds per contest.

"It was a cool experience," Brockmeyer said of playing at Litchfield. "I got to meet a lot of new people. Some of my best friends from high school went to Litchfield."

Brockmeyer didn't have to make as many new friends when she arrived in Carbondale this past summer, as she was AAU teammates on BlueStar St. Louis with Criste'on Waters and Makenzie Silvey.

"Makenzie committed (to SIU) before I did and she was really big on me coming here," Brockmeyer said. "SIU was always one of my top options throughout the recruiting process, but when (Makenzie) committed, it made me feel more comfortable, just being able to know someone coming in."

And while knowing Silvey and Waters certainly made Brockmeyer's decision easier, visiting Carbondale reaffirmed her decision to attend.

"Carbondale felt different," Brockmeyer said. "It felt like home. There was just something in my gut that told me to come here. I feel like SIU takes care of its athletes."

As a freshman, Brockmeyer hopes to get on the floor and do whatever the Salukis need her to do to win games.

"My goals are to get as much playing time as I can and to contribute to the team as much as possible," Brockmeyer said. "I want to do whatever I can to make the team better."

Fifth-year head coach Cindy Stein doesn't foresee Brockmeyer having a difficult time reaching her goals for the season, as she gives Southern another strong rebounder who is comfortable scoring from almost anywhere on the floor.

"What I love about Abby's game is that she has tremendous vision and natural instincts," Stein said. "She takes care of the ball, can post up, she can handle the ball and she can shoot the 3 and she does all of those things well. She has a feel around the basket that is hard to teach. She just gets it done."

Brockmeyer has yet to decide on a major but is leaning towards business.

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