It's not just about hoops with Le Grand guard

LE GRAND — Signing Day came and went with little fanfare for Jennifer Hansen. It's OK with Le Grand's point guard, who understands the reality of college recruiting.

The senior leads her team in points, rebounds, assists and steals, but is virtually unknown beyond the Northern San Joaquin Valley because of where she plays her hoops.

Hansen plays in the Southern League, home to some of the smallest public schools in the Sac-Joaquin Section — and not the first place recruiters look for on-court talent.

"I haven't been offered anything," Hansen said. "It's a little disappointing, but I know it's very competitive and you have to get your name out.

"Being from a small school and a small league, it's not really that surprising that colleges haven't heard of me."

That's not exactly true.

For as good as Hansen is on the court, her performance in the classroom may open doors that basketball cannot.

Hansen carries a 4.1 GPA and is on track to become the school's valedictorian. She had an interview with Harvard on Tuesday, and is applying to Stanford and Cal, too.

"She can write her own ticket," Le Grand coach Danny Crosby said. "She wants to go to Stanford, get a good degree and try to walk on. Same with Harvard. If nothing comes down the pipeline, she said she's going to walk on wherever she goes."

The do-it-all senior is a triple-double waiting to happen, averaging 19.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game for the 20-2 Bulldogs.

The 5-foot-6-inch Hansen was on The Bee's all-Stanislaus District Team as a junior and is challenging Los Banos' Brooke Silva for the district scoring crown this season.

Though the recruiting process has been slow, Crosby said some small colleges have shown mild interest — Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Holy Names and Oregon Institute of Technology have all called.

"It's like I was telling Oregon IT (coach Matt Greenleaf), with the numbers she's putting up, she's going to be a steal," Crosby said. "She has the work ethic, the drive and court awareness. She has all the intangibles."

The question remains: If an offer surfaces, will she select athletics over academics?

"I would probably lean toward academics," Hansen said. "I don't see myself making a career out of basketball. Even at a school like Stanford, which I have a minimal chance of playing for, I think it would be a fun experience.

"I wouldn't mind being the girl on the bench with the warm-up jersey that never comes off."