Soccer

Abby Wambach on her hoops skills in HS: 'I was a horrible free-throw shooter'

Abby Wambach also starred as a basketball player in HS. (Photo: USA Today Sports)

Abby Wambach also starred as a basketball player in HS. (Photo: USA Today Sports)

Abby Wambach’s legacy as a soccer legend is firmly cemented; this much we know.

She’s the leading career scorer — male or female — in international soccer, she’s won a pair of Olympic gold medals and she capped her 15-year career with ever-elusive World Cup last July.

What you probably didn’t know is that soccer was just one of the sports she dominated during her playing days at Our Lady Mercy (Rochester, N.Y.).

Last week at the Gatorade Athlete of the Year awards in Los Angeles, we asked Wambach which sport, other than her own, would she have had the best chance to win Gatorade National Player of the Year in.

“Well, basketball,” said Wambach, who won was named the Gatorade New York Girls Soccer Player of the Year during her senior year of high school.

How good was Wambach?

Her high school soccer coach Kathleen Boughton said Wambach “definitely could’ve gone to a D-I school for basketball too.”

“It just wasn’t her passion,” Boughton said. “She scored over 1,000 points in high school.”

Still, her specialty was at the other end of the court.

“I defended like no other,” Wambach said. “I was a three-guard, I couldn’t shoot. I liked to drive to the basket. I fouled out of almost every game.”

When asked which WNBA star best resembled her game, Wambach joked, “For sure, Diana Taurasi. For sure! Or Lisa Leslie!”

“And I was a horrible free-throw shooter,” Wambach said. “Maybe I should’ve chosen another sport?”

There’s always soccer.

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY