Hannah Banko has worked hard to polish her basketball skills, and the labor has offered dividends.
Banko, a 5-foot-11 senior at SkyView Academy in Highlands Ranch, has committed to play basketball at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.
“When I first started here I really couldn't shoot, I couldn't dribble, I couldn't pass,” explained Banko. “All I could really do is post up off the block because I was bigger than the other kids. I would just turn and shoot and I would just like fade away.
“Now I am able to be a guard if I need to be and bring the ball up, I can play on the wing and I am also able to finish with contact and shoot now.”
That is, the extra work paying off.
“I saw the most improvement through the summer,” said Banko. “So I would come to SkyView and I would lift in the morning, then I would run sprints on the track, then I would have our SkyView practice and have club practice. And then I would go home and run three miles. So that was my entire summer. It was basketball and getting better.”
In SkyView statistics after five games, Banko was leading the team with a 13.5 scoring average.
"She is a great leader. She has really committed herself from her freshman year, and all that work is starting to pay off for her. She's worked on her handle and jump shot and now she does a little bit of everything for us. She plays every position you can play and does a good job."
SkyView Academy girls basketball coach.
Q&A with Banko
What's your favorite pre-game meal?
I usually eat spaghetti the night before a game just because the carbs will give you energy.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Klay Thompson. He barely takes any dribbles and still works really hard to get open shots.
What or who motivates you most to excel in sports?
I would say Mickey DeVries, my coach. I don't know if I would have been able to get much better if it wasn't for him.
What do you like to do away from sports and school?
Me and my friends like going on hikes to like Breckenridge or someplace. I just enjoy the views.
What are your plans after high school?
I am going to go to Bethany and major in exercise science. Then I am going to go get my masters in athletic training.
Do you have a routine before shooting a free throw?
I always have to have my right foot perfectly lined up with nail directly in the center and then I bounce the ball once, twist the ball and then go down and shoot my free throws.
Any reason you seem to be a calm on the court?
I want to stay calm and my one goal is to lead by example. I am still accomplishing that. Every once in a while during a game I will freak out, but I will say you need to stay calm because all the freshmen are looking up to you.
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