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    Sh3GotGame: Mizzou Univ. Lauren Hansen Inspires Confidence In Others

    The New York native, Lauren Hansen, has grown up playing sports in her neighborhood. Unfortunately, there’s nobody from Long Island that has truly become a basketball star. However, this hasn’t held Hansen back from becoming the greatest player and person she can possibly be. Hansen took a moment to reflect during her Sh3GotGame interview, and she realizes how far the game has come since she began playing.

    She openly admitted, “I’m glad to see how far the game has come and expanded since I was younger.  The exposure has increased over time and women supporting women is a phenomenal feeling.”

    Initially, Hansen’s introduction to basketball was an invitation to a basketball camp by a friend of hers growing up. Shortly after the camp, Hansen soon realized she really enjoyed the game of basketball. While having limited experience as a basketball player in the beginning, she relied a lot on her instincts to carry her play. Since she was a young girl, Hansen admits she’s been competitive at times overly competitive. However, the intensity and mindset she adopted from the late great, Kobe Bryant, helps her game to this day. Additionally, she’s modeled her game after Diana Taurasi. Over time, her scoring ability developed, but the aspect of the game that came the most natural was her competitiveness. 

    “While I never modeled my game after Kobe Bryant, I did adopt his mindset and still use this within my daily life,” Hansen stated. “Scoring and making plays are my favorite part of the game, however, the most natural part of the game for me is my competitive nature.”

    Lauren Hansen’s Transition from HS to NCAA

    Fast forward, Hansen’s success throughout high school and with one of the most respected AAU teams throughout the country, Exodus Basketball, propelled her into the next step in her journey. Throughout high school, she became a nominee for the McDonald’s All American award; however, she didn’t win it. She elaborated on the award and described how much of an honor it was to be a nominee. On top of being nominated, Hansen was ranked amongst the top 100 girls in the nation, according to ESPNW.

    “Honestly, it was an awesome experience, I felt like I battled through adversity with injuries,” Hansen emphasized. “The nomination was nice, however, I felt I should have been in the game. Not being a part of it, only made me carry the biggest chip on my shoulder. I adopted an underdog mentality.”

    Hansen’s commitment to Auburn

    She still felt respected in the country by her peers and coaches although she didn’t win the award. However, focusing on the name and respect more so than she was on the right path. Lauren Hansen wanted to play freely and have the trust of her coaches to lead whatever team she was on. Originally, Hansen committed to Auburn University where she felt they were extremely similar in mindset. She prided herself on being different and felt Auburn was a great fit to do so in the SEC conference.

    Later, she transferred to another SEC school, Mizzou University. She was gifted the opportunity to play an open-style offense and help create plays for others. Throughout her process of transferring, she continues to make relationships with coaches and players. One of the byproducts of COVID-19 was that it forced many people to focus on their relationships, it was no different for Hansen. 

    “I’m so thankful for Mizzou, they’ve allowed me to play an open style offense and play my game freely,” Hansen elaborated.

    So much so, that she was able to defeat the current NCAA Women’s March Madness Champions, South Carolina University. While she gives the majority of the credit to her teammates, she managed to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the year. The Tigers defeated the Gamecocks, 70-69; Hansen pitched in with 21 points and 7 rebounds. However, as she described her emotions throughout the process, she explained that her mindset was different coming into the game. Therefore, Hansen was not surprised by the results. 

    “I went into the game thinking we were going to win although many counted us out,” Hansen grinned while explaining. “However, it gave us the mindset that we needed to beat anyone in the country.”

    The Impact of the Game of Basketball on Hansen’s Life

    Lauren Hansen spoke to the person who she has become today. She believes without basketball this isn’t possible. The relationships she was able to make, countless amounts of traveling, and most importantly her character. Hansen lives by a quote, “We Cannot Become What We Want By Remaining What We Are,” by Max Depree. Within this quote is a lesson for each and every individual to take away from it. However, one may embrace this message as purely their own prerogative. Yet, Hansen embodies this message and reflects on the possibilities of who she may have been without the game of basketball. She wishes to impact the game and lives far beyond basketball. And her biggest goal is to instill confidence in people through her game. 

    “My biggest goal, is to inspire people to be unapologetically themselves,” Hansen said. “I want my game to inspire others to believe in themselves and change the scope of women’s basketball forever.”

    In conclusion, Hansen is unapologetically herself and continuously attempts to move the game forward. If going pro doesn’t work out for Hansen, she’s open to taking on a mentoring coach role. She would love to coach a team, preferably at the collegiate level. However, wherever she can help affect the future of women’s basketball will be fulfilling. When asked was there any advice she was willing to offer to any younger girls and boys that may resonate with her journey, she replied:

    “The only person you need to believe in you is you'” Hansen said. Always remember how you talk to yourself is very powerful. Most importantly, never let anyone take or touch the confidence you’ve earned.”

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