Senior Rachael Hackbarth has one more accolade to add to her long list of accomplishments this season.
Hackbarth was officially selected to play on the USA Women’s All-Star team that will tour China from April 25 to May 9. The announcement came on Tuesday.
The team will go on to play nine games in three different cities in China, going up against teams from Australia, China and New Zealand.
Hackbarth was one of the 12 seniors selected by the United States Basketball Academy. Joining Hackbarth on the team will be Missouri State’s Casey Garrison. Garrison was selected to the All-Missouri Valley Conference first team this season.
“I talked to her on the phone,” Hackbarth said. “She was really excited about it, and then we’ve just been texting.”
The squad will play nine games over 14 days. Hackbarth will have to physically prepare for the tough slate of games. The Bulldogs finished their season about a month ago, and after the departure of head coach Amy Stephens, no one from the coaching staff remains.
“I’m sure a lot of it is going to be mental,” Hackbarth said. “I don’t really know what to expect going into it. I’m just training with some of the men’s coaches here since we don’t have any coaches right now, and (with) our strength and conditioning coach.”
Despite being named to the All-MVC first team and the All-MVC defensive team, and being named the Jackie Stiles MVC Player of the Year and an AP All-American honorable mention, Hackbarth never imagined she would be part of this squad.
“It’s pretty surreal,” she said. “I feel really grateful and really honored. It’s not something that I ever knew was in the cards for me. I didn’t expect it. It kind of just came out of the blue. I figured it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”