WNUR’s Justin Nam (@namjustin) profiles Northwestern senior leader Kendall Hackney in this week’s player profile.
The NCAA basketball season is now officially underway, and there is a lot of promise surrounding the Northwestern women’s basketball team. After a disappointing finish to last season with a 4-12 conference record, the Wildcats are poised to take a turn for the better as they approach 2012-2013 with a new mentality. The goal for this team is simple: make the NCAA Tournament. So with that in mind, it’s time for to delve into the heart and soul of this Northwestern women’s basketball squad.
Leaders are accountable; they play hard on the court, and demonstrate the upmost character off the court. That description fits the Northwestern Wildcat’s Kendall Hackney. A senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, Hackney is playing the role of team captain and trying to charge the brigade into the promise land known as the NCAA Tournament. Last season she was an All-Big Ten Honorable mention selected by the media and has also previously been named an Academic All-Big Ten honoree. To say that she handles her business on and off the court would be an understatement.
Hackney was 1st for the Wildcats in scoring last season averaging 15 points per game, and was able to haul in an average of 6.1 rebounds per game. She has played a solid amount of minutes ever since her freshman year, and expectations are high for the senior this season. She brings an experience for a group of girls that have two freshman starters on the roster. That experience will prove to be extremely vital down the stretch of the season, and it shouldn’t be surprising when Kendall Hackney is able to handle herself in a manner that will demand all to admire and follow in her form. It is evident that she maintains a “team first” attitude, and will continue to strive for success this season.
Q: Being a leader and senior of the team, how do you approach every day? Practice, games, and the classroom?
A: Yeah, this being my last year there is a sense of familiarity because I’ve been through it for 3 years now. I guess school is school and I just try to do the best I can by being prepared for everything. The same kind of mentality goes for basketball. I mean, I want to be prepared mentally, I want to be prepared physically, and emotionally. I think the games I’m especially focused because these are my last times playing these games here for Northwestern so I don’t want to take that for granted. It’s more of a mental focus for me, physically I feel pretty prepared, so it’s just more mental being consistent and a leader on the team. And any aspect I can to help my teammates.
Q: What has been the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn while at Northwestern?
A: Obviously, I know that I can’t control a lot of things. I wish I could control injuries with my teammates and who’s able to play because of things like last year that happened that were totally unexpected and injuries that I wish didn’t happen. Those were huge factors, and things like that, I know I can’t control but I guess I’ve learned more to trust in my team, trust in God’s plan, and how things are working together here. That’s been really hard because we like to control things. For me, that has been one thing, really just letting go of what I can’t control in a lot of aspects, not just basketball. It’s something we all need to learn but it’s definitely something that brings more peace when you understand that.
Q: What do you want your on-court identity to be?
A: I’d like to be a leader. A scorer. I’d like to be a hustler; an encourager and a motivator. Things like that I’d like to be characterized as because those are qualities that could help the team in the long run, not just myself but the team as a whole to help us win and better us as a whole.
Q: You’re starring in a romantic comedy, who is your love interest?
A: Who is my love interest? Hmmm, who’s tall? I know Josh Duhamel is tall and he is pretty attractive. Or Ryan Reynolds.
Q: You are accepting an award in the future, what is that award going to be?
A: Oh man, what awards are out there? It’s definitely not going to be the Nobel Peace Prize. I’d like to be the best comedic actress in a movie. That’s what I want.
Q: Lighting round time. One word will be given, and you must reply with the first word or short phrase that comes to mind.
A: Basketball- Wildcats
Shoes- Under Armour
TV Show- Cosby Show
Although she might not be the best at the “lightning round” it is evident that Kendall Hackney excels at being a selfless leader. Almost every question she answered surrounded how she could better herself not for selfish reasons, but to further the success of her team. The mentality is there and with Hackney being the leader for the Wildcats, the outlook seems positive for this year’s campaign.