McCarville reflects on basketball journey

The SPASH graduate was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame Saturday
Published: Apr. 16, 2023 at 9:39 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - When she looks back on her basketball career, Janel McCarville has an immense amount of gratitude.

“I’m very happy,” said McCarville. “Before this started, never would I thought my name would go up in any record book here. It was all just for the love of the game.”

It all started at Stevens Point Area Senior High School. McCarville was a star for the Panthers, helping guide them to a runner-up finish at state and earning ‘Player of the Year’ honors. Saturday, she was honored at her alma mater, as part of the 2023 SPASH Athletic Hall of Fame class. She said the she still thinks about her high school playing days often.

“The friendships that were made, the memories that happened and the events and the memories that were made from it,” said McCarville. “Basketball wins and losses come and go, but it’s really the things that you look back on and remember that is most important.”

McCarville graduated from SPASH in 2001 before heading to the University of Minnesota. Following a stellar college career, McCarville was selected first overall in the 2005 WNBA Draft by the Charlotte Sting. She went on to have a professional career that spanned 14 years in the WNBA and internationally. In her career, McCarville won a WNBA title in 2013 with the Minnesota Lynx and a EuroLeague title in 2010. Throughout her esteemed career, McCarville recognized just how special tjhe experiences were.

“Very fortunate that the work I put in paid off in order for me to have the experiences that I’ve had around the world,” said McCarville. “Meeting numerous people that I call my friends from different countries, experiences that basketball has afforded me.”

Following her playing career, McCarville’s basketball journey has come full circle. This year she served as the SPASH girls’ JV coach and helped coach varsity. McCarville enjoyed getting to coach alongside her former high school head coach Kraig Terpstra, someone she has the ultimate respect for.

“The program wouldn’t be what it is without him,” said McCarville. “Stevens Point High School owes him a lot and so do I for the guidance and consistency that he’s shown me through the years and the opportunities he’s given me.”

Being back at SPASH, every day is a reminder for McCarville of where everything began for her on the court.

”Throughout the year, we reminisced about things that had happened and we had a great alumni night that brought back lots of memories of who had showed up,” said McCarville. “It was awesome. I really enjoyed being a part of it.”

McCarville said she had plenty of family and friends with her Saturday to celebrate her induction into the hall of fame. She says she’s grateful to be a part of such a rich athletic history at SPASH.