By Jeremy McDonald
MILL CITY, Ore.– It’s been an unique journey for Hannah Thompson as she enters her first-year as Head Coach of the Santiam Girls Basketball Program. A Homecoming of sorts after a long run as a student-athlete that took her to some high-end college basketball.
From the area, Thompson spent her first three-years of High School basketball at Santiam where she got second-team All-Tournament team as a junior in 2014, before going to Mazama her senior year. From Klamath Falls, Thompson went to the College of the Siskiyous in Weed, California for basketball before taking her talents to CSU-Fullerton.for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. At Fullerton, Thompson played in 59 games, started in 44 of them, averaging 9.8 points a game before coaching as a volunteer under former Head Coach David Plotts the last two seasons.
“I’m really excited, I’ve always loved the game of basketball. It’s taken my life in many different amazing ways with God leading all of that, but it’s taken me to a bunch of cool places. I’m just really excited to be on the other side of it now. My love for basketball doesn’t ever go away, it just changes and is a different perspective coaching. I’m just excited to share my knowledge and all the things that I’ve blessed to learn from amazing coaches that I’ve had and try to pass that on to my players now,” Thompson said.
Though she was a volunteer coach, the experience has helped her bridging her playing career into this new chapter of her basketball life with Open Gyms starting back on Wednesday.
“I was pretty involved and went to all the games and went to every, single practice I could make it too. I’ve been pretty involved the last two years and it’s been really fun to come back and be an assistant and now stepping into the Head Coaching position, I’m super excited about it” starts Thompson. “It’s been really nice because it allows me to start building relationships with some of the girls and building a level of trust and respect with a lot of them.
“It kind of helps me understands how each of them plays and now moving into the Head Coaching position, I can now fit what I want to do and what i want to bring to the program with the players that we do have coming back and the younger ones coming up.”
Santiam opens up the 2022-23 season December 2 at the Silver Cross Tournament at East Linn Christian Academy, their first home game won’t be until December 15 against Sheridan.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald