Lincoln junior Morgan Hansen is our fourth nominee for the Sanford Pentagon/KELOLAND Media Group Player of the Year award. The USD commit led the Patriots in points, rebounds, and assists, and helped the team to the state finals.
As Morgan Hansen entered her freshman year, she had already caught the attention of Lincoln Head Coach Matt Daly during a summer league game.
“She got on the floor with Anna Brecht, and a couple of our all-state players who were going to be seniors, and she felt completely comfortable stepping up and taking big shots, and knocking down jump shots,” Lincoln Head Coach Matt Daly said.
Hansen had plenty of talent, and gained some much-needed experience later that season with the varsity team.
“I thought it was just an amazing experience to kind of come out of the gates, and kind of get that feel for a varsity sport. I think that helped me grow, especially sophomore year. That’s probably his initial idea, was to get me kind of on the floor for that sophomore year,” Lincoln Junior Morgan Hansen said.
The talented freshman also paid close attention to how the seniors approached practice.
“They all wanted to get each other better by competing against each other. So that was fun to watch in practice. I took that as a way for me to kind of learn from, and that’s what I need to do to be good, and be better,” Hansen said.
In the two years since, Hansen has taken her game to the next level. She’s led the Patriots in both scoring and rebounding, averaging over 15 points and 7 boards during that stretch. She’s also developed into a team leader.
“Morgan just leads by example. She plays hard, she shows up, practices hard every day and that rubs off on her teammates,” Daly said.
The 6’1″ junior helped Lincoln to a state runner-up finish, and now joins former Patriot Anna Brecht, as a finalist for player of the year.
“I’ve always seen older girls get it, and just for me, to come to that finally, its just amazing. I’m really grateful. Honestly it’s all out to my teammates, and honestly everyone who’s ever helped me get here obviously,” Hansen said.
We’ll unveil our fifth, and final, Player of the Year candidate on Friday. The winner will be announced during the All-Star Banquet on Saturday, March 30th. Former NBA player Kenyon Martin will be the keynote speaker. The event starts at 7:00, and is free and open to the public.