Melstone senior-to-be Draya Wacker will be taking her basketball talents to Missoula.
Wacker announced her commitment to the University of Montana women's basketball program via Twitter on Wednesday. Wacker had been in touch with other schools such as Colorado State, Stephen F. Austin and Wyoming, but being close to home ultimately won out.
Super excited to announce my commitment to the University of Montana. Thank you to the coaching staff for the great opportunity! Go Griz🐻 pic.twitter.com/raxW6OJJWp— Draya Wacker (@drayawacker) June 16, 2021
"Growing up in Montana, most girls dream of being a Lady Griz. Honestly, it was just everything I wanted and more. I liked the culture, the coaching staff, I love the coaching staff. I love the town, I love the players. I'm just so blessed to be a part of it. I thank God for giving me the opportunity," Wacker said. "Another thing that impacted my decision was when I go to (Missoula) we go to Bozeman at least once a year, so people from Melstone would be able to come and watch."
One of Wacker's childhood friends, Lindsey Hein of Forsyth, opted for Montana State over Montana, setting the two up for a friendly rivalry during their collegiate careers.
"Oh, yeah. We're excited. We've talked about it a lot already. I'm definitely excited for that," Wacker said.
Wacker is the first known in-state recruit for new Montana head coach Brian Holsinger. She's hoping she's just the first of many to make her way to Missoula.
"Ultimately, I want to go there to win. The more Montana girls we can have bring a Big Sky (Conference) championship to the Lady Griz, that would be awesome. The tradition has been Montana girls for a while, and there's a lot of them up there right now," Wacker said.
Wacker is widely regarded as one of the top players in Class C. She helped the Broncs to the State C tournament during her sophomore season in 2019-20, but Wacker suffered a torn ACL in late January of this year that ended her junior season. She averaged just over 25 points per game this year.
With Wacker sidelined, Melstone won the Southern C divisional tournament and made its second consecutive appearance at the State C tournament.
"I'm doing a lot of running right now. I'm able to shoot a little and working on my ball-handling. It's a long process and it kind of sucks sitting out," said Wacker, who is about four months into her rehab. "The mental part of it was the hardest. Having to sit out and watch all them get to play, put that jersey on. You take for granted a lot. Even walking."
Wacker won't be playing volleyball in the fall but should be full speed by the time the basketball season rolls around.
"I made a decision with my surgeon that volleyball is probably not the best idea. I'd be cleared right before tournaments, but it's a little risky. I should be ready to go for the first practice of basketball. That's the plan," Wacker said. "(I'll be wearing) a big brace. It's heavy and it's hard, so people won't want to be running into that thing, that's for sure."
Wacker will almost certainly reach the 2,000-point plateau during her senior season. She currently stands at 1,759 points.