Pedersen joins Tabor basketball program

By Steve Sell
January 28, 2014
Shane Backhus

Warning — don’t get into a game of H-O-R-S-E with McPherson High senior Abby Pedersen.

The Bullpup standout, who has been an important player for MHS since her freshman season, can flat-out shoot the basketball. And while she does other things well, it’s her pure shooting stroke that has earned her a letter of intent with Tabor College.

Pedersen signed Monday with the Bluejays in a ceremony in the MHS Library that included family and classmates.

Pedersen has played for MHS teams that have won a state championship (2012), finished second at state (2013) and also placed third (2011). She has earned numerous league and state honors, including 2013 when she was first-team AVCTL, not to mention honorable mention All-State. She was honorable mention AVCTL her sophomore year.

She is having an outstanding senior season, as her sharpshooting has helped the Bullpups to a 6-4 record heading into this week’s Mid America Classic.

Pedersen is expected to fit in perfectly for the Bluejays with her wing shooting.

“The coaches were great,” said Pedersen, who chose Tabor over a host of other schools who had keen interest in her. “And I liked all the players and I wanted to stay close to town so my family could watch. They’re a really good program and they’re in the top of the KCAC and it will be exciting to play for somebody really good.”

Pedersen could have been recruited hard for volleyball. She also was a four-year standout in that sport, including 2012 when MHS won the state championship after finishing second the year before. She earned league honors in each of her final two years. The Bullpups qualified for state in each of her four years.

Pedersen is hoping to improve her quickness and strength so she can stand up to the rigors of the college game and the tenacity it takes to play on the defensive end. Her shooting, though, can’t be questioned as she’s one of the state’s most prolific shooters and has been throughout her career.

Pedersen is happy to remain on the court with her teammate Hannah Willems, who also signed with Tabor on Monday.

“We’re both excited for that,” she said. 

MHS coach Chris Strathman believes Pedersen can provide a lot of firepower for his alma mater in Hillsboro.

“I think (she can bring) a lot of what she’s done for us over the years,” Strathman said. “Provide an outstanding shooter from the outside, somebody who really understands how to play the game. I think it’s the right level for her to go play and hopefully excel in. I look forward to seeing her over in Tabor blue!”

Tabor coach Shawn Reed, who has turned the program around as it’s now a perennial Top 3 KCAC finisher, knows what a shooter of Pedersen’s ilk can provide.

“I think Abby is one of the best shooters in the state,” Reed said. “She has a ton of experience. She has spent a lot of time with a basketball in her hands and she can really shoot it. In our game, if you can shoot it, you can play. She’s got an opportunity to be a really good player for us.”

Pedersen, who will major in elementary education, is the daughter of Debbie and Scott Pedersen, both of whom were Bullpup standouts during their playing days.