Former No. 1 overall pick McCarville returns to old stomping ground
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT — Janel McCarville, a former SPASH and University of Minnesota women’s basketball standout, returns to Stevens Point Area Senior High to help with the girls’ basketball program. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 WNBA draft reunites with her head coach, Kraig Terpstra, as an assistant to teach the young athletes what she has learned throughout her playing career.
SPASH has rotated through some high-level talent over the years. Athletes like Joe Pavelski, Sam Hauser, and Cole Caufield have all sat in classrooms in Stevens Point, now living out their dreams of going pro.
McCarville is arguably the most dominant athlete to step into the SPASH gym. During high school, she was virtually unstoppable. In her senior year, SPASH finished runner-up at state, while McCarville averaged 21.7 PPG and 14.7 RPG during the tournament. She explained that she loved her high school years and could pass along tips to the athletes going through the program.
“I learned a lot from my time at SPASH, so of course, it has a special place in my heart. I’m excited to be able to give back to these young ladies, having been on both ends of wins and losses,” McCarville said. “Try to pass along tidbits I have picked up on that have helped me stay consistent.”
With her dominant play and record-breaking performances in college, the focus on returning is to get the players thinking about a goal. She is an all-time great player at the University of Minnesota, sitting in the top five in all major statistical categories.
Her work ethic stood out the most in her eyes, giving her an angle to motivate the players.
“Hoping that me being back can spark some more interest in young adults because, in my mind, what I have to offer goes beyond the basketball court,” she stated. “Nothing set me apart from others more than my work ethic, and it continued to improve with age! But, I set my mind on using basketball to get out of Point with a scholarship. I never thought it would turn into a 15-year career, playing in most countries people have on their bucket lists.”
She ended that by saying one thing as a word of wisdom.
“With that being said, if you set your eyes on one goal, who knows where it can take you.”
McCarville specialized her game in the post, perfecting her craft to make her the best she can be. She proved it on multiple levels.
With the WNBA champion back at her old school, she wants to develop every position on the floor using one tactic.
“Hopefully, we are able to establish a post-game that is hard to guard,” McCarville explained. “Forwards and guards alike can develop so much with some simple footwork drills. Those carry over from guard, forward, and center positions and can be used on multiple areas of the court.”
You can see McCarville coach on the sidelines during every SPASH girls’ basketball game.