FORT MYERS, Fla. – Each spring, the most distinguished students at Florida Gulf Coast University submit an extensive application in hopes that their achievements are deserving of a prestigious place amid those in the FGCU Hall of Fame. Each candidate must possess extensive experience and effectiveness as a leader, remarkable academic excellence, notable ethical behavior and a knack for fostering the development of upcoming leaders.
This year’s extraordinary class has been announced, and among the prominent students being inducted, none are more deserving than senior captain of the women’s basketball team, Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School). In five years as an Eagle, the Pennsylvania native has forged an illustrious career. From athletics to academics, Hansen has built an esteemed résumé of accomplishments in an array of areas.
“Sarah is the most decorated women’s basketball in the history of the program,” explained women’s basketball head coach Karl Smesko. “She has earned the most athletic awards and also the most academic awards. The Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor, and one she greatly deserves.”
Off the court, the two-time reigning Atlantic Sun Player of the Year is an example of excellence to everyone around her. While she is constantly occupied with her various athletic responsibilities, Hansen still finds time to maintain superb grades. In between early morning practices, hours of film sessions, and a constant schedule of intense games, Hansen has earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.88. The fifth-year senior has claimed the title of A-Sun Scholar-Athlete of the Year for three consecutive seasons.
In addition to her tremendous accomplishment in the class room, Hansen has volunteered countless hours of her time to helping others. Since her arrival in the fall of 2009, the Chemistry major has worked with children as basketball camp counselor, volunteered with preschoolers at the Fort Myers Imaginarium, spent time with autistic classrooms at San Carlos Park Elementary School and contributed her time to the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. In addition, this past semester Hansen has been an integral member of a group of students called Trails for Tails, whose efforts have raised over $14,000 to support local marine life.
Hansen’s on the court exploits have been well-documented. The 5’10 guard has made a habit of leading her team in numerous categories. This year is no exception. She currently leads her Eagles squad in in field-goal percentage, points per game, rebounds per game, steals per game and free throw makes per game. Hansen has also continued to obliterate program records, currently holding the program high-marks in points, total rebounds, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, field goals made, field goals attempted, steals, free-throws made, games started, games player and minutes played and is on pace to set another.
The importance of her accomplishments is not lost on the humble Hansen.
“It really speaks a lot for our program and what we’ve done here,” said Hansen. “To have someone on our team get it, it speaks a lot for the people that I’ve been in contact with, all the people I asked to write letters of recommendation for me. It’s not something that you take lightly; it’s the hall of fame”
Hansen joins women’s swimming & diving’s Shannon Blizzard and men’s soccer’s Deion Jones, both 2013 graduates, in addition to men’s tennis player Steve Binninger (Class of 2012) as the first four Eagles to ever receive the revered distinction.