By Brandon Alter
Special to The Sports Pulse
Maryland public high school athletes are supposed to take Sundays off per state regulations. So, Abby Meyers spent countless Sundays working on her game in home gyms instead. She used that time to add elements to her game and work on her craft.
That drive pushed Meyers as she racked up multiple accolades in high school. She became Walt Whitman’s all-time leading scorer with over 1,700 points, was named a Washington Post All-Met honoree her senior season and helped lead the Vikings to the 2016 state championship.
Peter Kenah, Meyers’ high school coach, recalls a time when he wanted her to take a specific shot in a championship game, but instead, Meyers showed off a new skill.
“I still remember talking to her, ‘I really want you to take this pull-up jump shot, Abby. Your floater percentage isn’t that high right now,’” he recalled. “And she looks me dead in the eyes, and she says, ‘Coach, you don’t understand how many hours I’m putting in on that floater.’”
As colleges began making their recruiting pitches to Meyers, there was one school that the then-teenager wished to hear from, Maryland. But the hometown team never called.
Fast-forward five years, the grad transfer guard is making up for lost time, helping the Terrapins edge closer to its national championship aspirations.
“I never envisioned myself playing [at Xfinity Center] per se,” Meyers said. “But I never doubted my ability to play at this level.”
Meyers has not only played at this level but has shown she belongs.
Meyers has provided a much-needed boost to a Maryland team that lost all but one starter from a season ago. She has started in 26 of 27 games for the No. 7 Terrapins, averaging more than 30 minutes a game, the most on the team, and is the team’s third-leading scorer, averaging just over 14 points per game. She was crucial to the team’s upset over UConn, scoring a team-high 20 points and playing all 40 minutes.
“[It’s] definitely cool to step on this court and see things from the perspective of being on it rather than the stands,” Meyers said, adding that she just wants to make her family proud.
The journey to being a standout in College Park was anything but linear. Her high school accomplishments garnered interest from around the country, as she was ranked as a four-star prospect and No. 54 on ESPN’s recruiting rankings. She even received an offer from national powerhouse Stanford. But, in the end, Meyers felt Princeton was the best fit for her.
“It was just a very cool experience, being able to talk to all these coaches across the country,” Meyers said. “Being wanted was definitely a good feeling and helped boost my confidence.”
Throughout the recruiting process, her hometown team was nowhere to be found.
“We didn’t need that position at the time,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. “You can’t recruit everybody.”
Maryland did have two standout guards in the 2016-2017 season who were in their first season in College Park. Destiny Slocum became the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the WBCA National Freshman of the Year. She was joined in the backcourt by Kaila Charles, who would be on the All-Big Ten Freshman team.
While Frese said Maryland never officially offered Meyers, she got an extensive look at the Whitman star as she played on the same AAU team as Charles. Frese said that even all those years ago, she saw aspects of her game that are still there today.
“She was a leader on her team. You could tell that,” Frese said of her first impressions of Meyers. “Obviously, the best player on her team. You see those intangibles now when it comes full circle.”
While Maryland didn’t need Meyers’ skillset six years ago, it still stung for the teenager who grew up attending games with her family.
“It hurt,” Kenah said, adding that he recalls a 14-year-old Meyers telling him she wanted to play for the Terrapins.
While at Princeton, Meyers once again made a name for herself.
She was named the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2021-22 and helped lead Princeton to its second-ever NCAA Tournament win, a 69-62 upset over Kentucky, scoring a game-high 29 points.
After four seasons of playing basketball with the Tigers and a gap year following her first campaign, Meyers entered the transfer portal with one year of eligibility left.
After not being interested the first time around, Frese wouldn’t miss a second opportunity to recruit Meyers.
“[We were] all in,” Frese said upon seeing Meyers’ name in the portal. “Wanted to be able to recruit her. We definitely had a strong need.” Frese added that one day at practice, she told Meyers that coaching her this season has been a “cherry on top.”
Meyers said it was “special” to finally get the call from Frese.
With February on the verge of turning to March, the Terrapins are gearing up for another potentially long NCAA Tournament run. Meyers wants to write her name in history, just like the teams she grew up cheering for.
Said Meyers: “[I] just want to write my own legacy within the program.”
Photos by Michael R. Smith/The Sports Pulse.