BILLINGS — Billings Central’s Mya Hansen just put the bow on an outstanding high school career, capped by a second-place finish at the State A tournament. Central head coach Jetton Ailes said Hansen has been a treat for fans throughout her career.
“I hope there’s a lot of people that (felt privileged to watch Hansen) because it’s not very often that you get to watch a player like her. They don’t come around very often," Ailes said. "There are moments that you just sit back and smile. And you’re grateful. I try to make the most of every opportunity and stay in the present because it goes in the blink of an eye.”
The Gatorade award is a reflection of the work Hansen put in during the offseason. She was noticeably stronger and more explosive, which also allowed her to extend her shooting range effortlessly.
“It used to be in the past that you play your season and then your off and on to the next season. The game has evolved, especially basketball, so for this game it’s an all-around sport," Hansen said. "You play in your season, then you have to focus in the offseason because that’s when you truly get better.”
“Sometimes you have to pull her back a little bit. Sometimes she’s her own worst enemy. It’s no doubt that she works hard and it’s fun to watch her hard work pay off," Ailes said.
Hansen committed to the University of Montana early in her high school career before Shannon Schweyen was let go. Hansen then chose to sign with Butler, where she’ll compete in the Big East.
“It’s just hard leaving for sure. You always want to stay comfortable. It’s a comfortable spot here. I love playing basketball and I love who I’m surrounded with. I couldn’t never be in a better position than where I’m at right now. It’s the greatest thing I have," Hansen said. "But it’s always good to go outside of your comfort zone and find something new. I just have the love for the game and it’s carried me this far, so I’m just going to see how far it can take me.”
Players like Hansen don’t come around often, and Butler is getting one of the fiercest competitors out there.
“She’s not a kid that you have to worry about bringing it. She makes everybody around you better, including myself," Ailes said.