Cedarcrest's Hannah Smythe nominated for Player of the Year by basketball officials

Hannah Smythe - Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo
Hannah Smythe
— image credit: Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Cedarcrest High School senior Hannah Smythe was nominated this week for Player of the Year by the Snohomish County Board of Women's Basketball Officials.

Smyth, an athlete since age 9, was singled out for honors by the board for her attitude at the recent Cedarcrest-Lakewood match-up.

"From the captain's meeting to the final buzzer, Hannah played the game with a huge smile on her face, clearly having the time of her life," board president Mike Cashman stated. "She joked with officials, encouraged teammates, helped up opponents, and displayed the kind of love for the game that warms your heart. Her attitude embodies exactly what high school athletics should be about."

Officials at the Cedarcrest/Lakewood game felt that Smythe represented their definition of sportsmanship, and stated that this type of sportsmanship usually begins with the head coach.

The officials stated that the Red Wolves program represented “a modeled program for sportsmanship, hustle, fair play and courtesy to officials.”

Smythe's sports career began with an interest in tee-ball, then soccer. Volleyball and basketball eventually became her passion, which she plans to pursue beyond high school.

The desire, attitude and drive that Hannah embodies didn't happen overnight. She credits two of her coaches for inspiring those characteristics, Mike Ruhland and Angela Jensen.

Ruhland was her seventh grade varsity basketball coach. He not only made her work and practice hard, he made her feel like she truly belonged out on the basketball court. His coaching helped her to realize how hard she was capable of working, and what stamina really meant.

“I wouldn’t be the player I am today without Coach R," Smythe said.

Jensen has revealed to her that “basketball is not about just making baskets and staying in shape," Smythe said. "It is all about attitude, a belief in yourself and the importance of self confidence.” Lessons imparted to her by Jensen are something she uses both on and off of the court.

“Both of my coaches showed me what the spirit of sports is all about," she said. "Don’t give up on yourself, you get what you give, and that when one person genuinely believes in you, it can really change a life, just like it has changed mine.”

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