Lincoln's Morgan Hansen is our "Athlete of the Week"

Published: Jan. 13, 2020 at 11:07 PM CST
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If you watch Morgan Hansen play you'd think she'd grown up with a basketball in her crib.

"You know it's rare to find a shooting guard at 6'1 that has that type of speed and athleticism." Lincoln Head Coach Matt Daly says.

Making it more remarkable that one of the best players in South Dakota didn't even begin playing until the second grade.

"My friend on the team just came up to me at recess one day and was like 'hey, play for my Big Sioux League team!' I just kind of went out on the court, shot two-handed and called it a day. And then slowly became a little better every year." Lincoln Senior Morgan Hansen says.

In fact, save some high school competition themselves, Morgan's family has almost no athletic background. So as their daughter learned basketball, parents Steve and Chris learned how to help, and cheer, her on.

"I'm a great fan! I get to yelling at the refs a little too much!" Steve Hansen says.

"My family gets after it on the sidelines! They're a scream at the ref first kind of family." Morgan says.

"It's way more intense now-a-days as far as the traveling teams, all the summer traveling and then it goes right into school sports. So it's quite a grind but you have to put some dedication and make sure that she has the things she needs." Steve says.

It all paid off in Morgan's junior year when she averaged more than 14 points a game to help lead the Patriots to a state runner-up finish.

With that came another education in recruiting.

"I mean I had no idea what these letters we were getting, things in the mail (were)." Steve says.

"It was really weird for my parents to go through the whole college recruiting process with me as well for me. It's just kind of a cool thing in my family and, you know, they're always talking about it so it's pretty fun." Morgan says.

Next season Hansen and her family will still wear red at USD as they get an introduction to college basketball.

"She's just a really dedicated person. I mean, she's on top of what she needs to do." Steve says Of Morgan.

And Morgan's proven to be a quick study.

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