Southmoreland grad inks deal with German basketball team, eye still on WNBA
Southmoreland High School graduate Vanessa Abel is now a professional athlete after signing a one-year contract with the GiroLive Panthers.
The Panthers compete in Germany's Division-One basketball league known as the Damen-Basketball-Bundesliga League (DBBL). The team's home games are located in Osnabruck, which is a little less than 300 miles west of Berlin. From Scottdale to Osnabruck, basketball has taken Abel on a long trip that seems far from ending anytime soon.
When she attended Southmoreland, Abel put herself on the map quickly.
Her statistics were spectacular, but what most people noticed about Abel was her ability to win games and attract the ball. It was quite clear that she was a standout and not just a high school star. After a few transitional years, Abel latched on to Duquesne University, where she helped the college establish a winning culture.
According to Duquesne's official website, Abel became the second player from the Class of 2013 — the winningest in program history with 88 victories — to sign a professional contract. Jocelyn Floyd, of Washington Pa., signed with New Basket Oberhausen 92, also of the DBBL, in June of this year.
While her career at Southmoreland will be most remembered locally, Abel statistically overachieved at Duquesne. She finished her career seventh in university history in steals with 210, ninth all-time with 371 assists and ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.386). She was named 2011 Atlantic 10 Third-Team All-Conference. She led the Dukes to a 56-24 record as a starter, which in addition to her numbers at Southmoreland opened up the eyes of the German scouts.
Abel has only been playing in Germany for two weeks, but she already has plenty to say about the experience.
“So far, I love it. It's a lot different from home though. I'm starting to appreciate America a lot more now. But it is an experience that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world,” Abel said.
Josh King is a contributing writer.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.