That is the only way to describe freshman basketball player Allison Weidner’s rise to stardom.
The University of Nebraska is an attractive place for in-state athletes to continue their careers. It is no surprise that some of the most talented Nebraska athletes find their way to Lincoln. Many have found success doing so, but few have succeeded as rapidly as Weidner.
In her first year with the program, Weidner has become a pivotal part of Husker women’s basketball. Her development as a player has coincided with an impressive run from the team.
“Being a freshman, my goal was to make an impact and contribute in any way possible,” Weidner said. “To see that coming full-circle in this part of the season is exciting for me.”
Weidner’s story begins in the town of Humphrey, Nebraska. With only 896 residents, Humphrey is the quintessential Nebraska small town. To an outsider, it is just a dot on the map, a pit-stop and a bathroom break along the highway. One would not expect to find elite basketball talent within the city limits.
Weidner played for Humphrey St. Francis High School where she finished as the third leading scorer in all of Nebraska girl’s basketball history.
“The competition level in high school wasn’t always the greatest,” Weidner said. “Coming to Division 1 you play against some of the top players in the nation. It’s been a huge transition for me.”
That adjustment has not hindered her from producing at a high level in her first year. In just the last month, she has put up double-digit performances in big wins against Purdue, Penn State, Indiana and Minnesota. Weidner is averaging just over eight points per game in Big 10 play.
Weidner noted that her days get extremely busy while managing a class schedule, practice, and traveling to-and-from games.
When fans watch collegiate athletes play, they often forget that the students have regular lives outside of their sport. Student-athletes have an immense amount of pressure put on them while balancing school and sports.
Despite this, being a student-athlete comes with unique benefits.
“It’s a great environment here,” Weidner said. “Especially the relationships I’ve made with other student-athletes, not just on the basketball team but with other sports.”
Teammates sophomore Jaz Shelly and junior Sam Haiby have become role models for Weidner.
“Before coming to Nebraska, I looked up a lot to [Haiby] because I felt like I was going to be a similar player to her,” Weidner said. “Now that I’m here I also look up a lot to [Shelly]. You can learn so much just from watching her.”
“She makes it easier for everyone on the floor,” Haiby said. “She is aggressive, a good passer and unselfish. She is also a good defender who continues to get better and better as the season goes on.”
Although Weidner has always prioritized basketball, she excelled in multiple sports in high school. As a volleyball, basketball, and track athlete, she earned 11 individual or team state championships.
Outside of athletics, family is her driving force.
“I have a niece and a nephew, and I really cherish the moments I get with them,” Weidner said. “When I see them at my games, it means a lot to me.”
The Huskers currently sit in seventh place in the Big 10 as the conference tournament inches closer. Weidner is outperforming all expectations. Her role has only expanded as the season progresses. Weidner’s rise to stardom has been a pivotal part of the team’s success.