SHEPHERDSTOWN - A season ago, Abby Beeman wrapped up the most successful basketball career in the history of Frankfort High School, and that goes for both the boy's and girl's sides. The numbers don't lie, both in terms of individual and team statistics. Abby Beeman was great, making those around her better as well.
By Chapin Jewell
SHEPHERDSTOWN - A season ago, Abby Beeman wrapped up the most successful basketball career in the history of Frankfort High School, and that goes for both the boy’s and girl’s sides. The numbers don’t lie, both in terms of individual and team statistics. Abby Beeman was great, making those around her better as well.
But college basketball, well in fact college altogether, is a completely different animal. Some make it on the court and in the classroom, and some don’t. Even for those that ultimately succeed, that freshman year, those first few months in fact, are the toughest, presenting a multitude of challenges especially for those that have moved away from home. Some fail, some survive, and a small handful thrive.
Count Abby Beeman’s freshman basketball campaign at Shepherd University as an example of someone who’s thrived. Were there challenges being away from home? Of course, that’s the natural progression of life. But just like her youth and most especially her high school career at Frankfort, Abby Beeman felt most at home on the basketball court. That home away from home on the hardwood meant things were business as usual for Beeman, setting records and winning games just as she did in Short Gap.
The numbers and accolades from her four-year basketball career at Frankfort are jaw-dropping. Beeman concluded her career at Frankfort as the Falcons’ all-time leading scorer with 2,217 career points. In addition, to complete her all-around game, the diminutive point guard also tallied 547 rebounds, 540 assists, 404 steals, and 345 three-pointers, all while playing in 102 career games.
Among those 102 career games were those that took place in the Charleston Civic Center as Beeman led her teams to back-to-back appearances in the West Virginia class AA state basketball tournament in her junior and senior seasons.
In terms of accolades, Beeman was named first team all-state in both her senior and junior seasons, and third team all-state in her sophomore year. That’s back-to-back-to-back all-state honors, and in her senior season, Beeman finished second in the voting for the Mary Ostrowski Award, which goes to the top girls’ player in the entire state of West Virginia across all classes.
It’s quite a career, one that ranks among the best of the best. While she’s more than settled in at Shepherd and has proven herself already at the collegiate level, Beeman admits that a part of her misses those days in Short Gap.
According to Beeman, “Even though I am happy with where I am right now, I do miss playing in front of the high school atmosphere! There’s always going to be something different about competing with girls that I mostly grew up with.”
In between her own college games and practices, Beeman did occasionally have the opportunity to come back to Frankfort and cheer on the Lady Falcons in their successful 23-2 campaign this season. Despite those visits home, Abby Beeman made the most of every minute spent in Shepherdstown, not just competing as a freshman but starting as a freshman. Not just starting as a freshman but leading the team as a freshman. Not just leading the team as a freshman but setting records as a freshman.
Did Beeman think that she could make such an impact that quick? “I knew I would have an impact right away, but I wasn’t sure exactly how big. It wasn’t until the games started that I actually realized that this year could be something special,” the talented point guard explained.
How special a year was it? A look at the numbers shows that Beeman took what was a dominant, all-around high school game and immediately transferred if not elevated it to the collegiate level. There was a lot of scoring, there were a lot of assists, there were a lot of steals and three pointers, a high field goal percentage and a ton of minutes played.
Abby Beeman was durable; Abby Beeman was high-producing with the minutes she played. So much so that she was named the PSAC East Freshman of the Year for her efforts.
First, in terms of scoring, Beeman finished 24th in the nation in all of Division 2 with a season total of 592 points, averaging 19.7 points per game. As such, Beeman led the entire country in scoring among all freshman and was the only freshman in the entire country who finished in the top 50 in scoring. In addition, she set the freshman scoring record at Shepherd, a record originally set during the 1977-1978 season, and finished fourth in the PSAC in scoring.
While Beeman is proud of her scoring accomplishments, she’s particularly proud about her record-setting number of assists. “When looking at my individual accomplishments the one that I am most proud of is breaking the school assist record for a single season. I love getting my teammates involved and setting them up for shots.”
Beeman’s 219 assists on the season did in fact set a new school record, with the previous mark being 211. More impressively, those 219 assists placed her with the second most in the entire country at the Division 2 level; Beeman also finished second in the country in assists per game at 7.3. In addition to being second in the entire nation, those 219 assists and 7.3 assists per game were enough for Beeman to lead the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Adding to the numbers, Beeman finished first in the conference in minutes played with 1,155 minutes in total, or 38.5 minutes per game. Beeman also finished sixth in the conference in three-point shooting percentage at 34 percent, 11th in the conference with a 46% field goal percentage, and 12th in the conference in steals with 55 total, an average of 1.8 per game.
Beeman’s individual success and numbers, coupled with the dedicated play of her teammates, helped lead the Shepherd Lady Rams to a successful 21-9 season, and one in which the Rams led the PSAC offensively, scoring on average 74.1 points per game. Shepherd’s successful winning record represents the first winning season for the Lady Rams since 2014-2015’s 24-10 campaign.
“As far as team accomplishments go the one I am most proud of is making the PSAC tournament in our first year in the league,” Beeman explained.
Abby Beeman couldn’t have made a bigger splash in her inaugural college season and both she and the Shepherd Lady Rams’ basketball program are better for it. The beauty is that the goal oriented Beeman is really just getting started, and so too is Shepherd.
“I always set the bar high for myself no matter what it is and that’s no different here. I have a lot of goals for the team and myself, but these are the ones that stick out to me the most. I want to eventually become an All-American, and I want our team to not only make the NCAA Division 2 Tournament, but to also win some games once we get there,” Beeman explained.
Abby Beeman lives, breathes, sleeps and eats basketball. In her signing article a year ago, Beeman explained that in the seventh grade, she had to ultimately decide between gymnastics and basketball as to which sport she would devote her time and energy toward. She chose basketball, wisely, and the rest is history, and not just at Frankfort, but now at Shepherd University.
Setting records like Abby Beeman does everywhere she goes is not happenstance. As she also explained in that signing article, “I try to get in the gym every day, even in the off season. I play a lot of pick-up basketball with older guys who are faster, stronger and more athletic than most girls, which I believe really helps me.”
The biggest difference between the high school and college games, no matter the sport, is that the participants are faster, stronger and more athletic. Abby Beeman has been preparing for that eventuality with her training regimen for years and that strategy has paid off.
Abby Beeman is a born winner and record breaker. She did it at Frankfort, she’s now doing it at Shepherd, and she’s just getting started at the college level. No basketball fan will forget the name Abby Beeman in Short Gap. If that’s not the case already, give it a few years, and the same can be said about basketball fans in Shepherdstown.