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Hannah Hidalgo didn’t choose basketball.
Basketball chose Hannah.
She only went to the recreation gym with her dad as a kid for the Gatorade. Basketball wasn’t a real interest until she noticed she was better than most of the boys.
Hannah’s passion for the game now manifests in how she plays — skilled, relentless, determined, and with enthusiasm. It’s such that it stays with her even when she’s not playing.
Conversations with her parents in the kitchen at home can include the next game coming up, matchups, and strategy while watching a women’s basketball game on television.
I believe @HannahHidalgo will be the top player in New Jersey by her senior year.
— Martin S. (@marsoaries) February 17, 2021
Basketball does stop for certain traditions in the Hidalgo household. Sunday mornings are custom for gathering for church service. Since the pandemic, this has meant watching church online virtually. Hannah and her family are usually tuned into Pastor Michael Todd at Transformation Church.
“Without God, I would be nothing but without me, God would still be God”, as Hannah said in her interview.
Her sophomore season was one of the most impressive overall in the state. Hannah averaged 20 points per game as her team’s leading scorer. She was named the Olympic Conference Player of the Year and second-team All-State after leading the Eagles to a 13-2 record in a limited season.
Paul VI head coach Lisa Steele, who played her college ball at George Washington, calls it “a blessing” and “a fun experience” to coach Hannah.
“Players like her come once every couple years, or once in a career for some coaches.”
Hannah’s connection to the game is now impossible to miss or avoid.
— Paul VI GBB (@gbb_vi) March 11, 2021
She describes being on the court as being in a different world, a place where any troubles or tension goes away.
The way she plays shows it. She’s not just aggressive but poised. Her quick blow-by moves help her get into the lane at will to make things happen. Hannah has the ability to see the game ahead of time, which makes for some magical passing moments with either hand.
How does she describe Queen Hannah?
“She’s in the opposing team’s head. Constantly energetic, clapping, talking back to the other team… knocking down threes, knocking down jump shots, dishing the ball, getting and-ones, screaming in other people’s face… stealing the ball, fastbreaks, kicking it out to the shooters, aggressive, cheering on my team when I’m on the bench… bringing that energy.”
It looks like basketball chose well.