By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — In late April, Mike Neighbors and his Arkansas Razorbacks hit the lottery with the commitment of 2021 5-star Jersey Wolfenbarger. And based on intel gathered following recent Wolfenbarger competitive workouts with some of the best players in college basketball, Arkansas could be looking at a mega payout when it cashes in that winning ticket beginning with Wolfenbarger’s freshman season in 2021-22.
Wolfenbarger (6-foot-5 combo guard, ESPN national No. 18 prospect) still has her upcoming senior high school season at Fort Smith Northside, but she’s making the most of her offseason by getting in the gym to work out with and compete against some worthy collegiate players, including a Tuesday run with 2018 national high school player of the year, UConn guard, and former Central Arkansas Christian star Christyn Williams.
Wolfenbarger has also been in the gym in recent weeks with Razorbacks Chelsea Dungee, Alexis Tolefree, Amber Ramirez, and freshman-to-be Destinee McGhee, as well as 2020 5-star guard and Oregon State freshman-to-be Sasha Goforth and Memphis freshman-to-be Coriah Beck — both just finished up their senior seasons at Fayetteville High School.
With a growth spurt shooting her up from a 5-6 freshman to a 6-5 high school senior-to-be, Wolfenbarger has also added significant muscle weight and bulk that has allowed her to keep up physically while matching up with her older and more experienced gym pals.
The accelerated growth has also allowed Wolfenbarger — already an elite playmaker and shot creator attacking defenses from the perimeter — to add some mid-post and interior attack angles to her offensive arsenal.
“I was fortunate to get to work with one of my future teammates,” Wolfenbarger explained following a May 30 workout in Fort Smith. “She’ll be a freshman this year, and she’ll be a sophomore when I come up — Destinee from Alabama. She’s a post player, so it’s kind of cool to work with her. She’s taught me some post stuff. Definitely not as good as she is at it yet, but I’m learning from her.
“Just like with some of the older players, I’ve gotten to work with Dungee, Ramirez, and Tolefree. We got to play one-on-one and shoot around a little bit, and just hearing what they have to say about the program inspires me more. I want to be able to help build what they’ve built.”
Wolfenbarger sees the offeseason workouts and her upcoming final high school season as a valuable springboard for the next level.
“I think my biggest goal right now is just preparing myself for the collegiate level,” she said. “Next year I’m viewing my senior year as an opportunity to a) see how far I can take my team, and b) just to make sure that physcially and mentally I’m able to perform at the next level. Everything that I do (in workouts) I want to make sure I’m doing it to the best of my ability. I want it to be perfect in a sense, because it’s going to be much harder to do in a game. And I want to make sure that I’m challenging myself as hard as I can in practice so the game comes easy.
“I just know right now, my biggest goal is to be the best that I can be, especially for my teammates.”
Linked below are Twitter highlights of Jersey Wolfenbarger’s workout on May 30 in Fort Smith, my two-part interview with her, and below those links is my Hogville.net story published in late April detailing Wolfenbarger’s commitment to Arkansas …