Averaging 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists a game during her junior year of high school, Rachel Hanf knew she wanted to play basketball in college. Now, in her final year as a Hornet, the senior business major broke the 1,000-point mark and is a top scoring guard for Emporia State.
“I knew in high school that I wanted to play at the college level, (and) Emporia was the perfect fit,” Hanf said. “They showed the most interest in me from the start, and I got along with the coaches and other players well. The fact that they had continued success was great, too.”
Laura Spradling, sophomore elementary education major, who also attended high school with Hanf in Paola, said Hanf was somewhat of a celebrity in high school.
“Everybody knew who Rachel was at our school because she was so good at basketball,” Spradling said. “It’s hard not to get into the game when you have someone with her talent on the court, and it’s cool that I can watch her in college now, too.”
As a freshman at ESU, Hanf was named MIAA Freshman of the Year after scoring 17 points against Missouri Western and 10 points in the win over #1-ranked Gannon University. She kept up the intensity throughout her sophomore year, averaging 10.8 points per game and scoring a career high 20 points against Southwest Baptist.
This year, Hanf already has over 250 points and is 23rd highest scorer in all-time scoring at ESU.
“It’s not something I ever thought about,” Hanf said. “I just tried to play my best, game by game.”
Hanf said, as a team, she would like the Lady Hornets to win the MIAA regular season and play as far as possible in the NCAA tournament this year.
“For myself, I want to try to become more of a leader for the team, being a senior and all,” she said.
But Hanf’s teammates said she already leads by example.
“In every tight game, she steps up and makes big plays that give our team the confidence to make big runs that can be the deciding factor in games,” said Merissa Quick, sophomore forward and crime and delinquency studies major. “She’s a great teammate and is always looking to improve herself and the team.”
Although this is her final year to play basketball, Hanf said she would like to still help out with the team until she graduates next December, but she currently has no plan for after graduation.