SE: Get to Know the Newcomers: Anna Hammaker



 Before visiting K-State, Wildcat women’s basketball freshman Anna Hammaker didn’t know what to expect from the school in the middle of the Flint Hills. 
  
She had never visited the Midwest, but it didn’t take long for the Knoxville, Tennessee, native to form her opinion.
  
After just one visit, she was smitten. The people, the team, the coaches, the facilities – from the start, she loved everything about K-State and the Wildcat women’s basketball program. 
  
“Honestly, I wasn’t sure about K-State before my visit, but my dad told me to look at all my options,” said Hammaker when asked about her path to the Little Apple. “He told me he knew that I’d love it out here.” 
  
Hammaker’s father, Atlee, played 14 years of professional baseball and began his time in the majors playing for the Kansas City Royals. He became familiar with the Midwest during his days with the Royals and knew the family atmosphere found in the state of Kansas would be a good fit for his daughter.  
  
And he was absolutely right.
  
“So I came on my visit, and on that very first unofficial visit, I told my mom, ‘I want to commit right now,’” she continued with a smile. “She told me to think about it for a few weeks, but right after that first visit I knew K-State was where I wanted to be because of the people. My teammates and our coaches – our coaching staff is very strong in their faith and that’s something that is very important to me. I feel like I quickly related to the people here; they all have very strong values. There was just something different about it here and special about this team, so on my official visit I decided this was it.”
  
Hammaker came to K-State after a high school career at Christian Academy High where she totalled 2,805 points, 779 assists, 657 rebounds and 822 steals in her five years on the court. Among Tennessee’s top high school athletes, she finished second in the state’s high school history for career assists, steals and free throws made (703) and attempted (959). 
  
She was a 2015 American Family Insurance All-USA Tennessee Girls Basketball Team First Team selection, a five-time all-state honoree, an all-district and all-region recipient, and she was a two-time District 4-AA Player of the Year.  
  
Eager to begin a new chapter in her basketball career, Hammaker came to K-State earlier this summer to begin classes and training. She has spent the past few months with the Wildcats and is quickly adjusting to a new style of basketball.
  
“I’m used to getting the ball and going. The coaches tell me I’m a cheetah but I need to be a rabbit,” laughed Hammaker. “They tell me to slow down, take it all in and see what I’ve got. I’m used to going, going, going and just using my quickness. Slowing down and seeing how my teammates are playing, adjusting to that has probably been the biggest adjustment for me.
  
“But I’ve definitely gotten a lot stronger; I’ve gotten a lot better with the physical side of things. It’s still a huge learning process for me right now. I’m still learning the speed of the game and the toughness of the game. I’m going on my third month now and I have a lot more confidence. I’m excited to see what the season holds.”
  
With the season just around the corner, Hammaker is focused on giving it her all in practice and being a good teammate, so when competition begins, she is ready. 
  
“My biggest goal is to contribute as much as possible, always work my hardest and just be a good teammate. I want to be encouraging,” said Hammaker. “I want to do what it takes to help the team out.”
  
K-State women’s basketball tips off its non-conference slate with a pair of exhibition games on Monday, Nov. 2, and Monday, Nov. 9, in Bramlage Coliseum. The team’s non-conference slate includes eight home games and a trip to three-time defending NCAA Champion Connecticut. To check out this year’s women’s basketball schedule, please click here.
  
Along with its Big 12 schedule, K-State’s 2015-16 home schedule features 19 home games including: two exhibition games, eight non-conference games and nine Big 12 contests. K-State women’s basketball season tickets for the 2015-16 season are available now for purchase. For more information on season ticket packages for the Wildcats’ 19-game home schedule, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office by calling 1-800-221-CATS or visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets.
  

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