The Hansen brothers: Reunited at BYU

From little league in California to the Big 12, these two brothers have the unique opportunity to continue their careers together. Brett and Ben Hansen have reunited at BYU to play baseball for its inaugural Big 12 season. 

Ben and Brett Hansen are both pitchers for BYU’s baseball team. Older brother Brett is left-handed, and younger brother Ben is right-handed, which makes the perfect duo. However, this duo’s journey to play D-I baseball together was not as simple as most. 

California Ballgame

© Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group, Brett Hansen Foothill High School

The Hansen boys grew up in a sports-centered family, with their dad Matt Hansen, who was a member of the 1988 BYU basketball team. However, unlike their father, they decided to dedicate their life to the baseball diamond.

“Growing up, sports have always been a big part of my life and I’ve always just felt a connection with baseball,” said Ben. 

The first team these brothers played on together was little league at ages 12 and 10. 

“We won all the time. That was the best,” said Brett.

“Baseball in California is pretty intense. Our league, I believe, is one of the top 10 leagues in the entire nation for high school baseball. So, every day, we were facing full line-ups of kids that were going to Division One,” said Ben. 

With years of playing, the brothers had a lot of success and even position changes. 

“I was actually a shortstop up until my sophomore year in high school and I was like ‘I’m too tall to play shortstop now.’ So, I decided to start pitching and it turned out pretty good,” said Ben. He continued, “Brett’s always been a pitcher. Even when I wanted to be a shortstop, he was always such a good pitcher.”


College Baseball

Coming to BYU wasn’t the brothers’ original plan. Brett originally went to Vanderbilt University and moved to TCU, but he decided to transfer to BYU and play with his brother.  

Image Source : @bretthansen_ on Instagram

“We originally recruited both of them out of high school. . .[and] they both chose to go somewhere else,” said coach Trent Pratt. “Ben got back from his mission, and I got a phone call that he was interested. So, man, we’re like, yes, we’ll definitely take him.”

Brett was at TCU when he tore his latissimus dorsi (a muscle in his back). He left midseason and felt he needed to make that change to come to BYU.

“Due to NCAA rules, I couldn’t play. So, last year was all rehab for me. . .It’s been a long, long road and it doesn’t stop,” said Brett. 

The Hansens say that BYU is a great university for the two to represent Jesus Christ and be surrounded by other faithful teammates. 

“Being able to be on a baseball team with other return missionaries, people that share my same values and people that honestly lift me up. . .are a lot of the reasons that made me gravitate towards BYU,” said Ben. 

“It’s probably a dream to be able to play with your brother at this level,” said Pratt.


Playing with your Brother: 

Same teams and same positions can lead to a competitive nature, but this competition pushes the Hansens closer together. 

“[Brett’s] been my catch partner since day one. . . it’s a very healthy competition and it definitely pushes us both to be our best,” said Hansen.

“Even though we play the same position, we’re different pitchers. I’m left-handed, he’s right-handed. So, there’s different advantages to both,” said Brett Hansen. 

The Hansens have a built-in best friend on the team. Coach Pratt and many teammates said their relationship is strong on and off the field.   

“It’s cool to see their relationship on the field. They’re always happy with each other,” said BYU pitcher Boston Mabeus. 

The brothers had countless compliments to say about each other on and off the field. 

“On the baseball field, I admire [Brett’s] dedication to the game. He’s unbelievably dedicated to becoming the best pitcher that he can be,” said Ben. “He has a lot of love for the people that matter most to him. Brett keeps his circle pretty small. He shows a ton of love to those few friends, to his family, and his wife. That is super inspiring and super awesome.”

“On the field, [Ben’s] competitiveness stands out. . .He pitches with a bulldog mentality. . .[and] also is very much a meticulous craftsman,” said Brett. “He’s an extremely empathetic person. . .I know he’s turned people’s lives around.” 

It is a unique experience playing at BYU, but to share it with your brother is a whole other blessing. These brothers cannot wait to continue their baseball careers sharing the mound at Miller Park. 

“We’ve played together in high school, and now we’re playing together in college,” Brett said. “There’s literally no one else that I would rather have beyond the roster with me.”

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