On Thursday, March 30, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) announced that former Ivy League Player of the Year Abby Meyers ’22 had filed for inclusion in the 2023 WNBA Draft. Meyers spent the past year at Maryland, where she helped lead the Maryland Terps to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2015.
“There are so many amazing teams [in the WNBA] and I just looked up to all of them when I was growing up,” Meyers told The Daily Princetonian in a phone interview. “This whole experience is surreal, [it’s] like a full circle moment.”
Despite joining the Terps as a graduate transfer, Meyers started all but one of the 35 games she played. She also played the most minutes of anyone on the Maryland roster. Even as she saw tougher competition, her game translated from the Ivy League into steady improvement.
Meyers continued to shoot at 45 percent from the field and 39 percent from three while she adjusted to Maryland’s quick offensive system, which she described as “run-and-gun.” As she stepped into a secondary distributor role, Meyers’ assists jumped from 1.6 to 2.3 per game, all while her turnovers and fouls per game decreased compared to her 2021–22 season. It was a performance strong enough to earn her a spot on the All-Big 10 second team by the end of the year.
“For me, it’s been a good learning experience, that I am able to adapt my play to whatever level is needed,” Meyers told the ‘Prince.’ “I think at all levels you just need that ability, that skill, and fundamental foundation, which is what I got at Princeton.”
Entering Princeton as a highly-touted McDonald’s All-American nominee and top-60 high school recruit, Meyers’ time with the Tigers was anything but predictable. The COVID-19 pandemic nixed the 2019–20 postseason, when the Tigers had been poised to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. Then, the Ivy League decided not to host the 2020–21 season. Unlike most of her teammates, Meyers chose not to take a gap year and was on campus during the off-year.
“It made me personally appreciate the game more and appreciate being a part of a close-knit community at Princeton,” Meyers told Town Topics ahead of the 2021–22 season. “It was a great intimate environment, and we were able to focus on skills and getting better.”
By 2022, she had led the Tigers to a 14–0 Ivy League record and was top-65 in the country in points per game. Meyers’ leadership extended well into the postseason, where she went on to score 29 points in Princeton’s win over Kentucky in the Round of 64.
“[Princeton] gave me that overall leadership experience in not only the regular season but also postseason play,” Meyers told the ‘Prince.’ “Every tournament, rising to the occasion in big, big moments. And Maryland is no different there. I’ve had a lot of big moments here where there was a lot of pressure, but I’d done that at Princeton.”
Even as the Tigers came up just one point shy of the Sweet 16 in 2022, for Meyers, one door closed meant another door opened. Soon enough, Maryland came knocking, and the chance to go pro started to materialize.
With the Terps, Meyers was named one of four co-captains and quickly wound her way into the fabric of the team. According to a teammate, she adopted the role of “Team Mom” off the court while lightening the offensive load on Maryland’s leading scorer, guard Diamond Miller, and bringing physical, meticulous defense to a roster with just two true forwards and no player over six foot three.
“If anything Princeton taught me defense,” Meyers said. “How to be a good defender and how to prioritize defense over anything else. I took that with me to Maryland, and it definitely paid off.”
It was that kind of effort that went a long way for Maryland’s head coach Brenda Frese. “We really were fortunate to be able to get a player like Abby to come back home, and to gain that experience and that leadership has been huge,” she said ahead of their Sweet 16 matchup with Notre Dame.
But stepping into the Big 10 was far from an easy transition. Maryland had brought in a number of transfer students and had lost a star player in Angel Reese to Louisiana State University, but their tournament aspirations remained high. As she reflected on the season, Meyers described the tough, and often frustrating, process of bringing together players from a variety of different programs.
“I would be lying to say it was easy at first,” Meyers said ahead of the Sweet 16. “We kept on saying, we’ve got to keep working at it, let’s trust the process … keep our heads high, we’re going to figure this out.”
After long practices, lots of pickup, and a couple of close calls during the regular season, Meyers and the Terps secured a No. 2 seed in March Madness, but would bow out in the Elite Eight after an 86–75 loss to South Carolina. With her family cheering her on, Meyers described the quick turnaround from exiting March Madness to entering her name for a shot at the upper echelons of women’s basketball.
“I think I had 48 hours to declare. So it was kind of just like ‘go, go, go,’” Meyers recounted. “I remember filling out the forms and taking a video of me doing it, saying like, ‘It’s happening!’”
Meyers is projected as a late second-round or early third-round pick, though averaging 15.4 points per game in the postseason surely won’t hurt her chances. As a versatile shooting guard with a strong work ethic, if she can get her foot in the door and into a training camp, Meyers says her consistent hard work mindset, defensive focus, and lively personality could help her potentially secure one of the rarest roster spots in professional sports.
The WNBA Draft will be broadcast on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET on April 10.
Isabel Rodrigues is a senior writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’
Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.