By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — In what is arguably the biggest recruiting win in the history of Arkansas Razorbacks women’s basketball, 2021 ESPN national No. 7 / 5-star prospect Jersey Wolfenbarger officially became a Hog after signing her national letter of intent Wednesday morning, the first day of the week-long November early signing period.
“I get excited when I think about what the next four years could look like (at Arkansas),” Wolfenbarger told Hogville.net. “I can’t wait to play my part in a program that is on the rise.”
Wolfenbarger (6-5 combo guard, Fort Smith Norhside) was the 2019-20 Gatorate Arkansas Girls High School Basketball Player of the Year as a junior, and she’s got one more season with the Lady Bears while her Razorbacks enter the ’20-21 campaign as the preseason No. 14 team in the nation.
Wolfenbarger committed to Arkansas and head coach Mike Neighbors in late April when she ended a lengthy recruiting process that saw more than 40 NCAA Division 1 programs offer her a scholarship, including the likes of UConn, Notre Dame, Baylor, Texas, Tennessee, and Oregon State to name just a few.
At the time of her commitment, Wolfenbarger said the mutual belief and trust with Neighbors won her over.
“I think we just had this equal belief in each other, and I think that really resonated with me that he believed in me from the beginning,” Wolfenbarger said. “You know, when I was 5-6 at Northside, barely 100 pounds, he had enough belief in my upside that he decided to recruit me. That really stuck to me. I was just thinking he’s somebody I want to play for because like I said we both have that trust in each other.”
Wolfenbarger — a member of the Arkansas Banshees spring/summer grassroots basketball program — had great junior and sophomore seasons in the Arkansas high school ranks. As a junior, she averaged 18.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game while pacing the top-ranked Lady Bears to a deep run into the 6A state tournament. As a sophomore, she averaged 22.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.3 steals in a story-book season that culminated in Wolfenbarger leading a comeback from a double-digit deficit before she hit a buzzer-beating game-winner over Bentonville in the 6A state title game that garned her MVP honors.
She followed up her sophomore season with a strong spring and summer in 2019 playing with the 17U Arkansas Banshees as one of the top players on the national Under Armour Association circuit. She also showed well at the Team USA U16 training camp in May 2019 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Wolfenbarger is a smooth do-it-all perimeter force who can make plays for teammates as well as create her own offense. She has grown roughly 11 inches — shooting up from 5-6 to 6-5 in just over two years.
Here’s what ESPN contributor Shane Laflin said about Wolfenbarger’s move up from No. 18 to No. 7 in the national prospect rankings a few months ago (italicized) …
Wolfenbarger was considered a late bloomer based on her physical growth spurt(s). She started out a small but energetic guard who was talented enough to play above her age group. Then she grew to 6-foot-2 and now stands at 6-foot-5, and her confidence is noticeable.
She has developed one of the smoothest shots in her class. Wolfenbarger methodically attacks opponents with a purpose, showing flashes of DeWanna Bonner and Elena Delle Donne in her floor game.
“Not only is she the hardest-working player the Banshees have ever had, she is the most focused and detail-oriented person I’ve ever met,” said Nathan Sadler, director of the Banshees. “Jersey has a plan for all aspects of her game and she methodically attacks them with purpose and maturity.”
Linked here are three previous Jersey Wolfenbarger stories published at Hogville.net …https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=713794.0