Smooth Sailing: How Summah Hanson became one of college basketball's most productive freshmen
From living on a boat to fixing a broken shot, the freshman phenom is putting up monster numbers after a path less travelled to the NCAA.
Credit: Sacramento State Athletics
Summah Hanson grew up on a boat.
Depending on your perspective, it’s a fact you might consider cool, quirky, weird, interesting, amazing, or bizarre. To Hanson, it was pretty normal.
“Yeah, whenever I tell people that they’re like, ‘what?’, they find it so crazy. But I grew up on the Sunshine Coast and lived on a boat for nearly 12 years of my life.” Hanson explains, clearly not for the first time. “It was like a yacht, I don’t know the specific terms my dad would want me to use, but it was a big boat, around 72-foot I think. I had my own bedroom and bathroom. It was like a house, and we lived at the marina. Everyone’s like, ‘were you sailing, and homeschooling?’ Like no, we lived at the marina, I went to normal school, lived across the road from the beach,” Hanson laughs. “So growing up spent all my time outdoors, doing surf lifesaving, nippers, playing basketball… It was a really fun childhood.”
The great irony of Hanson’s life on the water? She actually gets seasick. For anyone who hasn’t experienced seasickness, it’s hard to truly convey the dread that comes with it. At its worst, it can be equal parts nausea, vertigo, and crippling mental anguish. It’s the kind of sensation that comes from nowhere and leaves you re-evaluating life choices, namely, if you’ll ever step foot off dry land again. But the more you get to know Summah Hanson, the easygoing Queenslander, the more you start to understand why someone who gets seasick might tolerate living on a boat.