On Wednesday, January 16th, junior basketball player Kent Hanson reached 1,000 career points in a game against St. Olaf.
“It’s a huge honor to join the 1,000 point club at Carleton. I feel extremely lucky just to be mentioned alongside some of the amazing players that have come through Carleton’s historic basketball program,” said Hanson.
This isn’t the only accolade Hanson has received during his career at Carleton. On January 21st, Kent was awarded MIAC Athlete of the Week for the second time this season. Earlier this season, Hanson was one of two forwards named to the D3hoops.com National Team of the Week.
After sitting out the first games of his career as a freshman due to a wrist injury, Hanson has become one of the Knights’ most important players. He currently leads the team this season with 20.1 points per game, putting him at second overall in the MIAC. He is also the team leader in both offensive and defensive rebounds, with 44 offensive and a whopping 100 defensive rebounds to date, which puts him at third in the MIAC for total rebounds.
His importance this year has been highlighted by the graduation of starting forward Kevin Grow ’19. According to senior Quinn Johnson, Hanson has stepped up to fill in some of that offensive power that Grow took with him. “He has done a great job of expanding his abilities and being able to score,” said Johnson, “and it’s only up from here.”
During freshman year of high school, Hanson suffered injuries to both of his wrists. On one side, a partially torn tendon has caused issues to this day. However, Hanson has been able to turn this challenge into a vessel for growth and development.
“My challenges with my wrist have taught me a lot about perseverance and dealing with adversity. They have made me more thankful for the ability to keep playing the sport that I love.”
One of his most memorable moments was a freshman year game against the University of St. Thomas. Prior to this game, Hanson had been recovering from his wrist injury and spending time on the bench. According to Hanson, this game was the first time he had felt comfortable on the court in eleven months.
As for playing at Carleton, Hanson enjoys the challenge of playing at an academically rigorous institution. Not only does this mean that varsity athletes must juggle the workload of a school like Carleton, but it also means that the basketball team has a smaller roster.
“Because Carleton is a high-academic institution, it’s hard to get a lot of players into the school. Most years we have a smaller roster which can hurt us if we have injuries and can make scrimmaging in practice hard at times. But I think that our team’s smaller roster is also what helps make the team closer than any other in the MIAC,” said Hanson.
Hanson is also thinking about continuing his career after Carleton and looking into possibly playing overseas in the future. For now, though, Hanson’s main focus is on making the MIAC playoffs this year and making sure the team is ready to make a run in the playoffs if they get there.
“Personally, I hope to do everything that I can to put the team in a position to win,” said Hanson.