Arkansas only had one signee in the 2012 East-West High School All-Star game Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena, but that one recruit helped lead the East to a 75-59 victory over the West.
Cabot's Melissa Wolff earned MVP honors on Wednesday night.
Cabot's Melissa Wolff scored nine points, pulled down six rebounds, had two blocks and a steal to earn Most Valuable Player honors. Wolff signed with Arkansas in November and wrapped up a dream season with this game.
“I've just been really blessed,” Wolff said. “I have had great coaches. These coaches were awesome. I had a great high school team and all the players here have been a lot of fun. This is the best way to end my high school season.
“I felt very honored. There was a bunch of great players out there so I know it was a very high honor to receive [the MVP award]. They were all very good.”
Cabot won the Class 7A state championship this past season with Wolff leading the way. She was asked to compare the experience at the all-star game to the state title.
“It was very exciting and the atmosphere was kind of the same,” Wolff said of the all-star game. “The state championship was a little bit more exciting because it was with the team I had been with for three years, but these girls were a lot of fun so it was great.”
Wolff admitted playing the all-star game on the court where she will play the next four years was also something she enjoyed.
“It was very exciting knowing I get to do this the next few years,” Wolff said.
Wolff chose Arkansas over North Texas and Arkansas State. Wolff was the top recruit in the Class of 2012 in the state. Now that the all-star game is finished, Wolff is ready to get to Fayetteville and begin a new chapter of her career.
“I can't wait,” Wolff said. “I've got a couple of weeks so I have been doing all I can to get ready. I will just work harder when I get up here.”
She will start her workouts with the other players on July 2 when she enrolls at Arkansas' second session of summer school. Wolff has lived a perfect senior season. It started with the scholarship offer from Arkansas, signing with them in November, winning a state championship, winning MVP honors at state tournament, winning the all-star game and once again capturing MVP honors.
“It has been so exciting,” Wolff said. “It's like when I signed with Arkansas I thought I had everything I had been working for whenever I was younger. It just kept getting better....the perfect senior year. I couldn't has asked for anything more. I was very blessed.”
One of the reasons Wolff opted for Arkansas was the way Coach Tom Collen and his staff recruited her.
“They were very nice,” Wolff said. “They called me after the first session in July and told me they were interested in me and that they really liked what they saw. They wanted to watch me a little bit longer.
“They called me in August and told me they liked the kind of person I was and the kind of player I was. They offered me a scholarship. I went on my visit and I just loved it. All the coaches were very family oriented. They're just good people. They were really nice to me while I was up here. They were very friendly.”
Arkansas enjoyed its best season under Collen last year advancing the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they lost a heartbreaker to Texas A&M.
“That was awesome,” Wolff said. “That was a great step for them and I'm really excited to be in the program right now.”
Arkansas did have a lot of success last season, but they also lost several key seniors off that squad. Wolff and others will be counted on for immediate contributions this season.
“I think right now my main strengths are my rebounding and shooting,” Wolff said. “I will just do my best to get stronger and quicker so I can help them anyway I can. The next level, I've got to get ready for it.”
The next level for Wolff is the SEC and she knows that will be a challenge for her and all other freshmen around the conference this season.
“It's a huge opportunity for me,” Wolff said. “I'm going to playing at a whole new level, and I realize that, but I've got to do whatever it takes to get ready to play that type of competition. I know it's going to be a whole new level.”