The spotlight has finally found Lainie Bishop, but not exactly for the reason one might have initially figured.
The past four years Bishop has virtually been ignored by the media outside of Branson en route to becoming Hollister’s career scoring leader for girls and boys hoops. She not only surpassed Brie Daniels’ former standard of 1,501 points, but will likely shatter that mark by 250-300 points by the end of this season.
The COC Small Schools Division coaches also have inexplicably overlooked Bishop. In their infinite (or is it infant?) wisdom, they somehow failed to award her all-conference status last season, even though she averaged 24.2 points a game.
But over the past month, Bishop has attracted plenty of attention. Since the Branson Tri-Lakes News reported on her three-year friendship with Springfield Hillcrest wide receiver and Mizzou signee Dorial Green-Beckham, recruiting publications tried to link her to a college in an effort to get a scoop on where he might go. Bishop and Green-Beckham began dating in January.
“It was kind of crazy the stuff I heard about myself,” Bishop said. “They said my transcripts were at Arkansas and other schools. But I never enrolled in any of those schools.”
Razorbacks message boards have been filled with blogs pointing to Bishop as the reason Green-Beckham chose Mizzou. Bishop has expressed interest in continuing her career at UM-Kansas City.
Arkansas had been the odds-on favorite for DGB’s services up until a week ago.
Lainie’s mother, Kristina, is confident Green-Beckham made up his own mind.
“Haters hating on him and blaming Lainie for not choosing the school of their choice — blah, blah, blah. Crazy,” Kristina said. “I’m so glad he made his own decision. Dorial handled it all so professionally and with class.”
Lainie added she didn’t get much of a hint beforehand where DGB was headed.
“He had told me what the top schools were, but we never talked much about them,” she said. “I never really knew the whole time.”
Bishop attended DGB’s nationally-televised letter of intent signing ceremony and was shown in some TV highlights of the press conference. It might have been the first time the Springfield media has ever acknowledged her.
The spectacle of the event, with ESPN, media of all types and Hillcrest students packing the Hornets’ gym, left quite an impression on Bishop.
“It was unreal,” she said. “The way everyone was there for him was crazy. I’ve been to (letter of intent ceremonies) before, but I’d never been to one like that before.”