In a room filled with some 70 of her closest friends, family and coaches, a Brookings-Harbor High senior stood before three boxes.
Each bore the name of a college, only one of which she would be attending next year: Corban University, Lewis-Clark State and Menlo College.
After finding nothing inside the first, she opened the second one, and was greeted by a pair of red and blue balloons. The room filled cheers and applause and a modest smile broke across her face.
It’s official: Abby Farmer will be playing basketball for the Lady Warriors.
As she sat down to sign her letter of intent, Farmer took off her track jacket to reveal the LCSC T-shirt she had been wearing underneath all along. Shortly after, she was joined by her parents, the words “Warrior Dad” and “Warrior Mom” proudly emblazoned across their chests.
Farmer’s signing day ceremony, held at the high school library Wed. night (Oct. 25), was a moment years in the making, a moment made possible not only by her own diligence, but by the support of her parents Alice and Daryn.
“I’ve been playing competitive basketball since I was 8 years old, and starting then, my parents kind of made everything possible,” Farmer said to a packed house. “They’ve been extremely supportive in sacrificing things that you guys wouldn’t even think of.
“Without them, I definitely wouldn’t be here, and for that I am forever thankful.”
Over the course of a speech that was equal parts laughter and tears, Farmer thanked all of her coaches and teammates, past and present alike, for contributing to her success.
“As I was writing my letter over the last few days, I was just like, ‘I’m really thankful for all these people,’” Farmer said after the ceremony. “You don’t really notice what they’ve done for you until you sit down and you start making a list and it’s just endless. The relationships with people I’ve made and the friendships is the part that really hit home the most. I definitely wouldn’t have been here without them.”
In her three seasons with the Bruins, Farmer has already set the school record for the most career three-pointers made (149) and is fifth-most in points scored (931). Last season, Farmer led the Bruins in scoring (21.4 points per game), 3-pointers (80), free throw makes (101), and steals per game (5.0). For her efforts, Farmer was named first-team All-Far West and All-State honorable mention.
Moreover, Farmer is responsible for 10 of the 25 highest single-game scoring performances in school history, and is also the single game leader in 3-pointers (9), steals (12) and free throw makes (19). A two-sport athlete, Farmer is also a two-time first-team selection in girls soccer.
While Farmer was quick to credit others for her success, BHHS girls basketball head coach Chris Schofield made sure her own efforts were recognized as well.
“This is Abby’s accomplishment above and beyond anything else,” Schofield said. “You see the things that happen on game night, you see the talent she has. (But what) a lot of people don’t see is how hard she works every single day in practice, and when I say every single day, I can’t think of a day Abby’s missed.
“I would like to think that’s rare, but we get kids (missing) all the time, and Abby’s just there every day, (working) hard every day; she’s always on. And seen even less than that is the countless hours, and I’m talking hundreds if not thousands of hours, that she has spent in the gym by herself on a shootaway with a rebounder, just making herself great.”
That greatness did not go unnoticed by LCSC head coach Brian Orr, who has a proven track record in success. The program’s all-time winningest coach, Orr has only missed the NAIA Tournament twice in his 16 years at the helm and is coming off of a national runner-up finish last year.
“When you consider all of the things that she does well, there is no way you can overstate Abby’s potential as a college basketball player,” Orr said. “She is long, athletic, and a perfect fit for our ‘play-faster’ system. She is a solid ball handler with excellent court vision, and is always looking to make the assist pass. She’s also great at reading defensive help and finding open teammates. When you add that to her ability to shoot the three, she becomes a very tough matchup for any defender because she can score in so many ways.
“In addition to her skills as a player, Abby possesses team and leadership qualities that every coach admires, and she represents the ideal of what we want our program to symbolize. We expect her to make an immediate impact next year as a freshman.”
Farmer, who was recruited by 26 other schools, explained that everything just fell into place during her visit to Lewis-Clark State a month-and-a-half ago.
“Before I even got there, the coaches were super encouraging and sounded super excited for me to come,” Farmer said. “Lewiston reminded me a lot of home and had some of the same features, like rivers, which I really enjoyed. When I stepped foot on campus, (everybody) was really nice. I spent a night with the team and they were super engaged with me.
“As soon as I got there, I just knew — I felt comfortable, I felt like I was already a part of them.”