Competitive Drive: Basketball player hangs up jersey, turns to training

Local Sports

When John Hansberry takes the court at Bethel College’s Thresher Gymnasium, it’s no longer as an athlete.

The Washington state native played a season and a half for the Threshers. But in sports, as in life, things don’t always go to plan.

In high school, Hansberry was being recruited by Bethany College in Lindsborg. To make the most of his time in Kansas, he decided to visit Bethel as well. It would prove to be the winning choice.

“He (coach) really sold me on the dream to come here and do something great,” Hansberry said.

Upon moving to campus, Hansberry became heavily involved in a variety of activites as well as his studies as a business management major. 

For not being from North Newton or even Kansas for that matter, Hansberry saw the value in the community which made his next move a little easier.

Halfway through his sophomore season, Hansberry made the decision to hang up his jersey and switch full-fledged into training.

“I came here to do something bigger than myself. I came here to play basketball and I’m not doing that anymore. So I feel like I need to leave an impact on the community, bring them together the best that I can while I’m here,” Hansberry said.

He’s done that in a variety of ways, including skills training sessions with his former teammates, coaching a team of 7th grade boys and putting on camps and clinics for young players. 

He’s also grown involved with New Hope Shelter in Newton through a class project.

Hansberry is putting on a 3 on 3 basketball tournament in April with benefits going to the New Hope Shelter. The tournament is for all ages and there is a cash prize for adults. 

Basketball is still paying for Hansberry’s time in college, just not the way he originally set out.

“I get to do what I love, everyday,” Hansberry said.

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