Sport Shorts: Feb. 15



Sara Hanna may only be 5-foot-6, but the senior point guard is a key to the success of the Blue Valley girls basketball team.

She has been the point guard for two consecutive teams that placed second at the Class 5A state tournament.

“Sara is phenomenal because she realizes she is a part of something bigger than herself,” Blue Valley coach Andrew Unrein says, “She leads by example with her strong work ethic and her positive attitude. Because she devotes so much of her energy to our program, our younger kids can’t help but look up to her. She exemplifies everything positive a coach could want in a high school student-athlete.”

And basketball has not always been her favorite sport — soccer has been at the top of her sports leader board.

Sara Hanna


“Basketball had never been my absolute favorite sport when I was younger,” Hanna says. “I played softball, but overall I liked soccer the best. I was athletic when I was younger, but a lot of my abilities came from the fact that I was very tall and coordinated for my age.”

That changed when she stopped growing. Hanna was a varsity soccer starter for her first two years of high school, but quit the sport.

“It’s hard to explain why I quit soccer when I was a varsity starter,” she says. “My best explanation is that basketball is something I can always work at. Once I decided that I didn’t want to play either sport in college, it was much easier and less stressful to just focus on my basketball skills for myself and my teammates so that I could enjoy the basketball sport experience.”

Her dad, Don, is an assistant football and girls basketball coach at Blue Valley.

“I’m sure my dad is a major reason why sports are a big part of my life,” she says. “I would say my dad has had the biggest influence over my basketball participation.”

What is her strength as a basketball player?

“I think my greatest strength would be leadership by example,” she says. “I know as a senior and captain that my attitude and actions make a big different for the team.”

Hanna also got a 34 on her ACT.

“Next year I plan on attending the University of Arkansas with a major under the pre-med plan,” she says. “I worked hard to earn the 34 ACT and strong grades so that money wouldn’t be as stressed about paying for my education.”



A number of area athletes have signed with NCAA Division I schools during the February signing period. They are:

• Rockhurst offensive guard Zach Hannon with Nebraska

• Rockhurst outside linebacker Tony Lashley with Idaho

Alyssa Phelps


• Rockhurst defensive end Jason Nix with Army

• Blue Valley offensive lineman Clay Rhodes with Missouri

• Rockhurst defensive end Jordan Willis with Kansas State

• Blue Valley distance runner Colton Donahue with Kansas State

• BV Southwest softball player Megan McGuire with Iowa State

• BV Southwest volleyball player Alyssa Phelps with Cornell

• St. Thomas Aquinas soccer player Kyle Gress with Marquette

• St. Thomas Aquinas distance runner Madison Hopfinger with Kansas State

• St. Thomas Aquinas swimmer Sara Lopez with Navy



“I am not truly lost so long as someone, somewhere, can hear by voice.”

— author Jack McDevitt, “Firebird”