Aeriel Niccum | Staff Reporter
Posted June 4, 2014; 9:00 a.m
Hannah Bland, a 2014 Waynesville High School graduate and former captain and star forward, has signed a letter of intent to play ball with the Lindenwood Lady Lions basketball team, according to a Waynesville Daily Guide article.
According to Lady Tigers head coach Brittany Matlock, Bland comes from a family of eleven, has played basketball with the Waynesville R-VI school district since the seventh grade, has always been on the academic honor roll, continuously volunteers in the community and this year also received numerous awards for both basketball and track.
Bland also enlisted in the National Guard in September and will graduate basic training shortly before the start of her first year as a lion in August.
According to Matlock, Bland’s greatest strengths both on and off the court are mental toughness, leadership and selflessness. Matlock also believes Bland will make a great addition to the Lady Lions.
“I think what [the coaches] have in place will push her, but I also feel she has something to bring to the table,” Matlock said.
“Hannah is very competitive, very driven, is a fighter and wants to achieve. I can only see and hope for positive things [for her]. I also don’t think we’ve seen Hannah at her best. I think there is still a lot more for her to do.”
According to Matlock, Bland selected Lindenwood after a visit to campus left her very impressed. Bland has since turned down offers from all other universities and, according to Matlock, has said that after her experience at LU she feels like she would be let down by other universities.
Lady Lions head coach Tony Francis is excited to have Bland on the team.
“I’m humbled and excited Hannah chose our program. From the moment I shook her hand and looked her in the eye I could tell I was looking at a very motivated individual,” Francis said.
“Hannah has what I call the ‘intangibles’ you can’t teach. She has strength, athleticism, motivation and a competitive attitude. We’re excited to add not only her strength and athleticism to our family, but her personality as well. Hannah is a wonderful young woman and, to use a country phrase, we’re going to work our hind parts off to make sure she gets every bit of what she deserves.”