She’s a two-sport athlete in basketball and volleyball who could perhaps play either sport at the next level. She’s the daughter of a school record-holding women’s basketball player. In her last season of basketball at BYU, she averages 16.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
Senior Jennifer Hamson recently talked to The Universe about her hectic life as a multi-sport athlete, her goals and her future.
What made you decide to stick with just basketball this year?
Jennifer Hamson: It was really crazy busy doing both, and it was hard. Plus, I really just wanted to see what it would be like to only play one sport. Basketball worked out better this year, because they were low on bigs and I was really needed this year. I’m happy I did it. It has turned out really well. I’m still redshirting volleyball so I will play volleyball again next fall for my last season.
You only have one more season playing at BYU before you graduate; what happens next?
JH: I have a couple of options. I could go play volleyball overseas or try to get on a national team, play basketball overseas or see if I can get drafted. I’ve thought about going to graduate school somewhere too, but I definitely want to keep playing sports. Now it’s just a matter of deciding which sport to play and where.
How does it feel to only have one more season at BYU?
JH: It’s kind of weird — it’s nice to have some options for after graduation. I’ll miss all the friends I have made here and doing things with them, especially my teammates. I definitely get a little bit of senioritis sometimes and it gets harder to stay focused, but I’m just going to make the best of it. I’ve loved my time at BYU.
What’s the coolest thing about being 6’7″?
JH: It’s helpful in the sports I play, and I can see over people so I don’t get lost in crowds!
What is the hardest thing about being a student-athlete?
JH: Probably the hardest thing is balancing things. It’s hard to do everything that everyone expects you to do, especially with school. When we travel so much it’s hard to keep up with everything. The teachers try their hardest, but we can only do so much.
What has been the most memorable thing about playing for BYU?
JH: There are so many things — the players, the people I’ve played with, the coaches have been great — so many people have had such a big influence on me. There are so many memories. The whole experience of being at BYU is memorable; that’s why I chose to come here. I just love the environment here, and I have loved everything about it.
Who is your biggest fan?
JH: I have a lot of support from my parents, and I would also say my cousin Erin. She’s my roommate. She comes to all my games. She’s really encouraging, and she’s really supportive. She’s pretty much my second half.
Who has had the biggest influence on you as a player?
JH: Well, coaches always have a huge influence. But overall? My mom. She’s the one who really got me into this. I didn’t even really like basketball before, but she was the one who really encouraged me to do it. Then I grew to love it. She’s what got me here.
What is your biggest goal for the season?
JH: One of my biggest goals is to get back to the NCAA tournament. We were there a couple of years ago, and I loved it. I just want to get back there again. We have to keep going; it’s my last year!
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
JH: Probably the best and most common advice I get is to work hard. Work hard and good things will come. I think that most times when you try your best, good things just happen. That’s my motto, and I try to live by it.
Hamson’s play could contribute to an NCAA tournament trip for the BYU women’s basketball team in March. After redshirting in volleyball this season, Hamson will return to the court in August for her final season as an opposite hitter.