HARTINGTON — A few months into the recently completed high school basketball season, Abbe Morten hung tight to a dream.
The Hartington-Newcastle senior planned on, hopefully, finding a way to make the Morningside women’s basketball team, but knew it wasn’t a sure thing.
Now, amid a dark pandemic crisis gripping the world, that dream is a reality.
Recently, Morten signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Morningside, a national NAIA power in Sioux City, Iowa.
“When I visited the campus, that’s where I wanted to be,” Morten said. “They were trying to find the dates to sign me and all of a sudden we aren’t in school anymore and can’t do anything, so we decided to make the best of it,” she said. “So, I went up to the school and did my signing.”
Morten will receive a partial scholarship to be a part of the program, but the gesture is worth its weight in gold.
“That’s not terrible,” Morten said. “When I wasn’t sure if they wanted me, I started looking at other schools, and found that they weren’t the only school I was open to. That helped a lot.”
Local Morningside rival Briar Cliff also went after Morten so that politic sure didn’t hurt Morten’s cause.
Morten averaged 19 points and 5.5 rebounds a night for the 10-12 Lady Wild cats.
“I was just relieved to make a decision,” she said. “It was something I have been thinking a lot about. I am super excited for next year.
“With everything going on, this is something to look forward to and I know what I am doing next year and I know how successful they are. It’s a positive to look at with all the negative.”
Morningside finished 23-10 and made it to the first round of the NAIA national tournament last season.
“Next year it’s going to be different for me,” Morten said. “Sure, they recruit the small schools, but they also get players from the bigger high schools and who play tough. I think I can play with them. I have been playing summer ball for the last four years at those big AAU tournaments. I know I am going to have to work my butt off to get what I want. I am willing to do it. I want to show them I can be an asset.”
Morten said she wants to work on her ball handling skills to be ready to play the point at that level and an increased shooting range won’t hurt.
Her high school coach and father, Josh Morten, is pleased with this next step in Abbe’s evolution.
“It’s a proud papa moment,” he said. “I have been coaching her since fourth grade – so that’s almost 10 years. It’s a pretty good deal.”