Up North: The McDonald's Love for Basketball

Updated: December 19, 2018 10:48 PM

"We knew going into it that she might not get there," said Joel McDonald.

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"I don't like to know what I'm at for points because I don't want to have that as a distraction," said Hibbing senior Abbey McDonald.

The anticipation of reaching yet another milestone in her career lingered over the head Abbey McDonald heading into the Hibbing girls basketball team's road game against Princeton. In the end, not only was McDonald able to notch her 2,000th career point, the Bluejackets walked away with 56-47 victory.

"It was really exciting especially because Princeton is a really strong, skilled team," said Abbey.

McDonald has been a part of the varsity squad since she was a 7th grader. Over time she's developed her game just as any player does.

"This team has worked hard in the off season and it's because of her and the other captains, getting all these girls in here" said Hibbing head coach David LaCoe.

Abbey has a bit of an incentive to work hard in the off season. Thanks to an agreement with her dad and her brother she says her time spent shooting the ball is worth the shoes and the success.

"Last season it was 45,000 so if we reach that of taken shots, we get a free pair of shoes from my parents for the season," said Abbey about the agreement she made with her parents.

However, Abbey isn't the only McDonald to score over 2,000 career points. Her dad, Joel McDonald, scored over 3,000 points during his prep career.

"In Chisholm, growing up in a very successful program we just kind of wore hard work on our sleeves and being in the gym on our sleeves," explained Joel

McDonald continues to learn from another 2,000 point scorer in Coach LaCoe who actually played with her dad.

The list of McDonald's to reach the milestone doesn't end with Abbey or her dad. Abbey's uncle Tom, aunt Judy, and cousin Mariah also are all 2,000 point scorers.

"They work hard together as a family," said LaCoe. "I think they compete against each other and I think they're trying to up the next one," he explained.

"It's really cool, because I've always looked up to all of them," said Abbey about her family. My uncle Tom was a really good free throw shooter, so I try to model his game," she added.

Basketball is the McDonald's special- but it stretches through three generations. Starting with the legendary Bob McDonald. He is Minnesota's winningest prep boys basketball coach that coached for 59 years. Bob is the reason this sport has become a family affair.

"It's that one thing that my siblings and I continue to share," Joel said about basketball. That love has trickled into the nieces and nephews of mine and my own children as well. He's the legend," Joel said about his dad Bob. "We just have tried to aspire to be as much like him as we can."

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