Hannah Richards was ready to hang up her basketball sneakers and focus on earning a nursing degree at Husson University in Bangor.
But Southern Maine Community College women’s basketball head coach Katie Stannard had other plans for the Old Town High School 1,000-point scorer.
Former Katie Bergeron, who also played at Old Town, has been keen to land a player from her alma mater since taking the coaching job at SMCC in 2016.
Richards will be that player.
âI’m really excited,â said 5-foot-6 Richards. âKatie had kept texting me and we had been talking about it for about a year. She told me about the program.
Richards, who like Stannard grew up in Bradley, decided she wanted to keep playing.
âKatie was very persistent. She told me that not many people have the opportunity to play varsity sports and how great it is for her, âsaid Richards. “She said it would impact my future and help me in different ways.”
Richards averaged 15 points last season to lead Old Town to a spot in the Big East Class AA / A / B Championship game where the Class B Coyotes lost 45-34 to Class AA Bangor.
Stannard was a 1000 point scorer at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. She said attending Bowdoin was a life-changing experience and that she created a desire to provide a similar experience for her players.
She spent a year as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Emmanuel College in Boston, then played three years of professional basketball in Europe, including two in Leeds, England.
Stannard studied at Leeds Metropolitan University and obtained two Masters degrees in Sports Business and Sports Law and Society.
She followed Richards’ high school career closely and said she knew the family very well.
Richards is expected to play both the role of point guard and point guard for the South Portland Seawolves, who have played in two United States Collegiate Athletic Association Final Fours with an overall record of 90-27. during the four seasons of Stannard.
The 2020-21 season has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stannard called Richards a go-to player and said she not only has the physical skills but also a competitive fire and high basketball IQ.
âI watched her play a game and her shot didn’t fall. But instead of being frustrated, she started distributing the ball to her open teammates, âStannard said. âShe got them all involved in the game. Then his shots started to fall.
Richards plans to play basketball with friends from high school this summer and then hopes to get involved in pickup matches with his future SMCC teammates.
She attended CMCC games and was impressed with Stannard and the team. Richards intends to take prerequisite courses for two years at CMCC before moving on to another school to complete his nursing degree.