By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– As her mom cracked a joke about her fouls stemming from her aggressive playing style that Head Coach Trevor Bodine agreed with to the tune of a smile that came across his seemingly always straight-edge face, the girl sitting in between them was just sitting their with a smile on her face as well.
She was just enjoying the moment that she was in Monday afternoon just mere feet away from the steps that led into the basketball gym that she played Volleyball and Basketball in just a few months ago, helping North Marion to a play-in game in Volleyball and a third-place finish in Basketball a few months later as a senior.
“It felt just like playing basketball all over again with them, I wish I could be here another year playing basketball,” said Hannah Kinniburgh as she got done taking pictures with her teammates, friends and family following her commitment to Linn-Benton Community College Monday afternoon. “But I’m happy to be continuing to play basketball and I’m grateful to have this opportunity and that I pushed myself and my parents pushed me. My parents and my teammates pushed me and that’s all I could ever asked for.”
After a strong junior season that saw the Lady Huskies finished sixth in the State of Oregon, Kinniburgh started her senior season off slower than she liked but the North Marion post stepped up big onto the scene in the Elite 8 as she averaged 11.7 points and shot an incredible 53.8-percent from beyond the arch.
The only other girl to shoot better than Kinniburgh in terms of three-point percentage, was Aspen Slifka of Banks who made 54.5-percent of her three-pointers in the Elite 8 in 2018, just 0.7-percent ahead of Kinniburgh for the top spot.
But, it was more than how her stat-line was to finish her High School career, but how she finished her High School career and building momentum for this moment entering the summer that made it special for her.
“It was so nice, it was hard at the beginning of the season when I wasn’t making my shots that I knew that I could make. But Trevor never gave up on me and I think it was very nice…like he said, that was the right time to peak,” said Kinniburgh “If I need to step up at any time during the season, I’m glad that it happened to the end and it was those last three games of the season at State.
“And I’m always going to remember that those last three games in this whole season went, but I’m just happy that it ended on a good note.”
And with her trading in the Green and White of North Marion for the Blue and Yellow of the Roadrunners, she is not holding herself to any less of a standard than she already holding herself to when she closed out her High School career with the Huskies.
“I’m just going to take everything that I have learned here at North Marion and then pushed myself so hard this summer because I do not want to become any less of a player than I already am,” said Kinniburgh.
As for her lasting memory, as this chapter of her student-athlete career comes to an end and the next one is about to begin, one memory of them before the game coming out and getting ready for the tip-off will stick with Kinniburgh as this particular chapter ends for her.
“My last memory playing here is that I will always remember is our little, going up the stairs and hitting each and every top thing and getting all loud before we come in, hitting with the ‘Team, team with the pinkies at the end,” said Kinniburgh. “Just little pinkie-promises at the end going, ‘team-team’ and that’s how we ended and that’s how we started each and every game. That’s something I will always remember.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald