One of Washburn's new superstar freshman guards is Hannah Willey, one of five freshmen the Bods have on roster. From Abilene, Kansas, she decided to stay in her home state and represent Kansas in a tough MIAA.
“I chose Washburn because I liked the family atmosphere and the coaching staff. I also know some girls on the team so, that helped with getting into the swing of things. The facilities are really nice too. The thing I liked most about the program was their style of play, and I felt like I fit in well with the team,” explained Willey.
Willey was a very successful high school player, averaging 17.4 points and 5.3 rebounds a game as a senior. She was also a finalist for the class 4A Player of the Year and an All-State selection. She is a member of the Kansas Basketball Coach Association (KBCA) All-Star team, All-NCKL First Team, and earned 4A All-State honorable mention and honors as a junior. Willey led Abilene to three state tournaments.
The drive to succeed and make it to the college level has been instilled in Hannah since she was young. Willey’s dad played at Fort Hays state back in the day and coached her growing up. It really helped her game develop.
“My biggest role model is my dad because he played basketball in college and he coached me all my life. I really look up to him,” said Willey.
Willey grew up watching one of the best players ever, Lebron James, who is her favorite player.
“Lebron James is my favorite player because nobody can stop him. I followed him everywhere he's been ever since I can remember. I like the way he plays and leads on the court. He is the best to ever do it, better than Michael Jordan,” said Willey.
Willey is very well liked and respected by all her new teammates and coaches. Her work ethic and enthusiasm is contagious on the court. Willey is constantly encouraging her teammates to be positive.
“Hannah is such an encouraging teammate who always has a positive attitude on and off the court. I can always count on Hannah to keep me up and to constantly put a smile on my face. Hannah is truly an inspiration on our team,” said redshirt freshman guard Katie Glatczak.
Hannah is known as a supportive teammate and a fierce competitor. Often times, she is the first one to jump up off the bench in excitement for her teammates. She brings a fun and sassy attitude to the court. She continues to grow and develop as a player because of her hard work and dedication.
“She’s a very genuine person to be around. I’m glad we get to be teammates this year!” said junior guard Kaylee Stevens.
Head Coach Ron McHenry was very enthusiastic about Willey finishing high school. Willey is the type of player McHenry wants in their program.
“We started recruiting Hannah because she was a good player and she fit the type of players that we feel can do well in our system. Her teams won. We feel that is important in a player who we bring into our program. One of Hannah’s biggest strengths is her ability to understand the game. She has a great feel for the game of basketball and what it takes to win,” said McHenry.
McHenry has large expectations for Hannah's next four years. He and the staff expect her to be a large part of the future success of the program.
Willey is someone Bod fans should keep an eye on.
Edited by Jason Morrison, Adam White, Diana Martinez-Ponce