Nabwe named a Lion's All-Star, will compete in summer series
Annie Nabwe was named to the 2022 Lion's All-Star Basketball Series Roster last week.
A month before Annie Nabwe packs her bags and heads to the University of Minnesota, she'll be on the basketball court with some of the best prep basketball athletes in the state of North Dakota.
A few weeks ago, Nabwe, a Jamestown High School senior, was named to the 2022 North Dakota Lion’s Class A All-Star Basketball Team, slated to be held July 11-12 at Bismarck High and Fargo Davies. The girls will play at 6 p.m. both nights and the boys games follow at approximately 8 p.m.
Nabwe is the first Blue Jay girls basketball player who will compete in the series since Paige Peterson, back in the mid-2010s. Head coach Andy Skunberg said the Blue Jays have had players selected the last few years, but that many have chosen to compete in the NDHSCA Optimist All-Star Volleyball Series instead.
One athlete is not eligible to play in multiple All-Star games.
"This game does not have the pressure of the in-season game," Nabwe said. "I am honored to be selected. These games are fun because there is no pressure, even though you want to win, losing does not affect anything so during this game you just do what you can and have fun."
The series began in 1977 and pits the Class A boys and girls team against their Class B counterparts. The girls All-Stars series began in 1981. In 75 girls games, Class A leads 46-29. Class A has gone 4-0 over the last two years.
Nabwe said she has never attended an All-Star basketball series game but said that she thinks the excitement of the series stems from getting play with her former opponents and against Class B athletes who she has very little experience with.
"I have no idea how it will be," Nabwe said of competing with and against a more random group. "I know that I need to adjust to (people on my team) and think of them as teammates and not opponents.
"I have watched a couple of Class B games and I am expecting them to put up a challenge (but) Class A is going to win."
While Class A has history — and several big name threats on its side — the Class B squad has 2022 Miss Basketball Abby Duchscherer of Kindred and Region 3 standout, Molly Musland of LaMoure/Litchville Marion.
Duchscherer finished her career with 2,662 points, playing on varsity since seventh grade. She played for three Class B state championship teams. Duchscherer averaged 19.5 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in her final season with the Vikings.
Miss Basketball scored 25 points in her third state championship, a 64-40 victory against Grafton on March 5. Duchscherer helped the Vikings to a 23-0 record this last winter.
Still, the Class A team has got Nabwe and the Blue Jays can testify that any team who's got her, has got a weapon in its arsenal.
Jamestown finished the hoops season at 13-9 overall and 11-7 in the conference standings. Nabwe was named WDA Senior Athlete of the Year at the conclusion of the West Region Tournament.
The Jays advanced to the West Region tournament for the second-consecutive year but the Blue Jays missed out on a state tournament. In the final game of the tournament, Bismarck High punched its ticket to the state tourney, defeating the Jays 59-53.
As a junior, she was named the leading scorer with 324 points in the books. During the 2020-21 campaign, Nabwe was averaging 13.5 points per contest and nabbed a team-high of 239 rebounds. She was credited with 13 blocks and 73 steals. She shot 53% from the floor.
Nabwe was tied with Katie Falk for the Blue Jays' second-leading scorer this last winter. Almost 85% of the senior's points came within the two-point range. The senior powerhouse shot 50% from the floor, putting 259 total points on the books.
The all-stater played 514 minutes for the Jays, and her team found itself up +202 when the senior was out on the floor.
Nabwe was the Blue Jays' top rebounder the past two seasons. The senior finished out her prep career with 60 offensive and 173 defensive grabs for a grand total of 233 boards.
The senior made 47 steals and recorded 21 official blocks.
Come August, Nabwe will turn her attention to the Gophers' track and field team and while she's excited for next steps, she is also eager to put a stamp on her hoops career as a North Dakota All-Star.
"I am grateful for the opportunity because I don't know if I will have an opportunity to do competitive basketball in the future," Nabwe said. "I was not expecting it and I was honored to be selected."