Stop by any Humphrey St. Francis girls basketball game and there tends to be a common conversation in the bleachers and around the concession stand.
You'll find identical discussions between media members in print, radio and television that happen to find themselves following the Flyers.
"Just how good is Allison Weidner?" "Is she good enough to play Division I?" "Is she good enough to play in Lincoln?"
Husker women's coach Amy Williams answered all those questions last week when she officially offered Weidner a scholarship as part of the 2021 recruiting class.
It was just the latest in a line of basketball offers from the likes of Denver, Duquesne, North Dakota State, UNO, Toledo, South Dakota State and Wyoming.
Weidner has gained more national attention this summer as part of the AAU Under Armour team Nebraska Attack out of Omaha. She and her teammates, mostly Class A players, have competed in Atlanta, Minneapolis and Indianapolis, among other locations.
Weidner will be an incoming junior this fall at St. Francis where she has been a major force in back-to-back trips to the state tournament for the Flyer girls.
"We just kind of talked about basketball and how my summer went, and then they offered me," Weidner said about her unofficial visit to Nebraska on July 30.
"It was just crazy. I couldn’t stop smiling. It was just an amazing feeling deep down, just a good feeling because it’s Nebraska, it’s Power 5."
Weidner, a back-to-back all-state honoree by every major publication in Nebraska, toured Pinnacle Bank Arena, the practice facilities and the campus.
It's one of two trips she's made thus far in her decision-making process. She's also been to South Dakota, in Yankton, and will visit South Dakota State in Brookings later this month.
"Everything was just pretty nice – the locker room, the practice facility, the two courts next to one another, one for men’s, one for women’s, ice baths, showers, it’s just all right there. It’s pretty nice," Weidner said.
The offer came in the coaches office at the end of the tour.
While it's of course "exciting" to be offered by the home state university, Weidner said she's not quite ready to say yes to any particular school. Instead, she's focusing on taking advantage of all the attention that has been pointed in her direction.
"I just want to make the right decision. When I know, I’ll know, I’ll feel it. And so, right now I’m just soaking in the whole process and seeing what’s out there for me," she said. "When I know the right college, I’ll know."
As a freshman, Weidner was second on the team with 14.5 points per game, first with 7.9 assists, second in shooting at 44 percent and first in steals with 106.
Weidner and the Flyer girls advanced all the way to the D-2 state championship game but lost the title to Falls City Sacred Heart, 57-51.
This past season as a sophomore she scored 19.8 points per game, averaged 6.4 rebounds and 5.8 steals. Her assists and steals once again led all Nebraska players, according to MaxPreps.com
Her physical style of taking the ball to the rim and welcoming contact was developed by her older brothers Brandon and Nathan. Those two were always playing football or basketball. Allison joined in, even for football when the Weidners and friends played tackle.
"They always pushed me around. I may not have liked it back then, but it’s definitely what made me the competitive person I am," she remembered.
"I held my own."
These days she's at the weight room in the mornings before returning back home for a day of shooting. The family's shop on the farm has a half-court space inside that includes a hoop and a shooting machine.
"Oh, I don’t know," she said when asked how long she spends in the shop. "I lift weights in the morning, and then when I come home, I shoot, or eat breakfast then go shoot. I don’t know how long I’m out there."
Weidner has spent much of this summer on the road. Although she felt she was ready for the AAU circuit earlier, she said mom and dad wanted to be sure she was ready for the time commitment and the physical and mental toll of what it meant to play at that level.
She began playing in local leagues midway through grade school and had her first taste of basketball in a big city during a league in Omaha in the sixth grade. Though she said her team "got their butts kicked," there was an instant attraction to facing the best of the best.
That became a reality this year. Starting in the spring, Weidner began traveling to Omaha twice a week and every Sunday.
The top finish for Nebraska Attack was a runner-up showing in their division at the tournament in Minneapolis.
Unlike in Humphrey, where she's an entrenched starter, Weidner has had to work her way into playing time. She's also learned a lot defensively.
"It’s been a little different, but I’ve kind of enjoyed it too because I get the opportunity to play with this team full of superstars. Everyone is so good and everyone is just, across the board, so talented. Anyone could start. It’s just humbling," she said.
In D-2 she's been able to get away with a more aggressive style of defense. Facing more players of a high caliber, Weidner has learned to adjust. That lesson, she said, has been the most valuable over the past few months of travel and competition.
"In high school I can take more chances, lunge for steals. In the summer, everyone is very talented and sound players. If you lunge then you’re going to be out of position and they have a step on you and you’re going to be beat," she said. "Basically, just keeping to yourself, keeping yourself between your girl and the basket."
Weidner was a three-time gold medalist this spring at the state track meet (400, 800, 3200 relay) - the third, fourth and fifth gold medals of her varsity career. Despite that, college track programs have yet to reach out. Her love for hoops makes will almost certainly win over no matter who comes calling.
But now that she has several options, Weidner said she's not about to quit the lifestyle that has made it possible. There will be no resting on the past. No, you'll still likely find her in the shop taking hundreds, perhaps thousands of shots each day, all the while carefully considering the future.
"We'll just see what happens," she said. "Overall, I'm just grateful."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org