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Hanson talks hoops: interview with Carleton Basketball captain

Kent Hanson ’20 is a Senior Captain of Carleton Men’s Basketball, two-time all conference, and 2019 all-region player. Already a decorated Knight, Hanson is playing some of the finest basketball of his career, leading the Knights in points per game (19.3) and rebounds (8.7). Viewpoint editor Nicole Collins caught up with Hanson to discuss his senior season, Carleton’s squad, and his plans to play professionally after Carleton.

Nicole Collins: What are some of the biggest accomplishments of your Carleton career so far?

Kent Hanson: My freshman year, we won fourteen games in a row and made the playoffs both my freshman and sophomore year. We’re in a playoff push now, this year. I think another big team accomplishment has been getting the Goat from St. Olaf my freshman year. We kept it, lost it last year, and will have a chance to take them back this year. We beat them once, we just have to beat them again at home now.

NC: What’s the Goat?

KH: Carleton and St. Olaf play for this wooden goat–this sort of ugly-looking thing–so I don’t know if I want the actual goat, but I like what it means. You keep the goat unless you lose both games against the other school. We’ve beat them once and we’ll be playing against them later this year.

NC: What have been some of the most important things you’ve learned as captain?

KH: My team is in a pretty unique situation right now. We have myself, one other senior captain, one sophomore, and eight freshmen. So it’s definitely been a learning experience–learning that it really takes time to adjust. So many of our players are in their first year of college basketball and it takes time to really have players adjust after making their own mistakes.

NC: Some of the most useful things you’ve learned about balancing academics and sports?

KH: Time management is really the most important thing. You come here freshman year and learn that off the bat. I think having that freshman year and being able to carry that through senior year is really the only way you can balance and juggle everything that’s going on at the same time. Which a lot of our freshmen are learning right now.

NC: Something that you were nervous about freshman year that you’ve since navigated?

KH: Coming into my freshman year, it was kind of a question mark as to what position I’d be playing. I’m somewhat versatile on the court, so finding my niche on the court, finding exactly what position I’m playing… When in freshman year, having to learn multiple positions–I learned the 2, 3, 4, and 5–I’ve kind of developed and started playing the 4 a lot. And, this year especially, has been different. I’ve been playing the 3 a lot. That’s been a learning experience and I’ve gotten to try different things.

NC: Plans after graduation?

KH: I hope to, fingers crossed, play overseas professionally. A lot is still up in the air after this year. Depending how the rest of the season goes and barring injury, so much is up in the air and there are a lot of leagues overseas, so at the end of the season I can’t get an agent yet (NCAA rules), but when it does, I’ll probably get an agent and a highlight tape and probably play in some showcases. Hopefully I can land on a game.

NC: Where overseas? Do you know yet?

KH: I’ll probably end up in a random country. But there are a lot of pretty good leagues overseas; there are a lot of good little, like, levels [or leagues]. I have a friend right now who flew to Germany last week and is in their second league. One of our assistant coaches my freshman and sophomore year also played in Germany. I’m just really excited about the prospect of getting to keep playing… and being able to travel, as well.

NC: What keeps you playing basketball?

KH: I just love the game itself. I love the sense of purpose it gives me; it’s definitely something that’s a big part of my identity, so I’m not quite ready to give it up yet.

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