MARTINSBURG, W.Va – After spending essentially her entire life in the state of West Virginia, Abby Beeman is due for a change.

The former Marshall and Shepherd basketball standout will get just that in a few months when she takes her talents to Iceland and joins professional club Hamar to begin her career at the next level.

“I have been in West Virginia pretty much my whole life so it is exciting to get to experience something new and something different,” the Frankfort High School graduate said, “Of course there are some things you worry about naturally but other than that, I think if you just focus on the positive things and you get to experience something that not many people do, I think that makes it pretty easy.”

Beeman averaged 16.0 points, 6.6 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game for the Thundering Herd last season, leading Marshall to its second NCAA women’s basketball tournament appearance in program history and winning Sun Belt Player of the Year honors in the process. She says those are memories she won’t soon forget.

“I’m very thankful I got to experience my last year of college basketball that way. We had major success but not only that, it was just fun to get to work and practice with the team and the coaching staff every single day so I’m very thankful for my experience and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said.

Last season’s unprecedented success for the Thundering Herd doesn’t come without Beeman who joined the program as a transfer from Division II Shepherd where she averaged at least 19 points per game in each of her two seasons for the Rams and earned All-American status as a sophomore.

Her success contributed to a distinct Division II flavor on the floor for Marshall a year ago, teaming up with former Glenville State head coach Kim Caldwell and Breanna Campbell, a guard who followed Caldwell to Huntington after one season with the Pioneers. Beeman believes that her team’s success shows proof of high-end talent in Division II.

“We always just come back to, all three of us, how thankful we are for DII and how people need to realize there’s a ton of talent at the Division II level. Not everyone gets the opportunity to move up but there certainly is talent at that level,” she said.

In preparing for a professional career, Beeman was able to sign on with an agent thanks to a connection with former Marshall assistant coach Angel Rizor who joined Caldwell on staff at Tennessee following the season. That turned into an opportunity to join Hamar where she hopes to be able to play a similar game to what Marshall, Shepherd and Frankfort fans have come to expect from her.

“I feel like every stop of the way I’ve had people say, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that’ and then I just continue to prove them wrong so I’m hoping it can translate to the pro level but to be honest, it’s a completely different level of basketball so it’s going to take some work, some learning curves at first but once I get my feet set and learn what I need to do and what I don’t need to do, I’ll be just fine,” she said.

Beeman is set to travel to Iceland and join Hamar in late August and expects to spend about eight months with the team for a season running into the month of March and potentially later depending on league playoffs.

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