The FGCU women are in the Atlantic Sun semi-finals. The Eagles got a big lift in Wednesday's opener from Sarah Hansen. The all-conference sophomore played one of her best games of the season, with her biggest fan, and biggest critic, looking on.
Sarah Hansen claimed to have early game jitters, yet she scored the Eagles first four points in the win over East Tennessee State. When she was done, she'd scored one point less than her season best. A performance that would make any father proud.
"He's one of my biggest fans. It's really nice for him to be here and to see him up in the stands," Sarah said about her father.
John Hansen, a principal from Pennsylvania made the trip south to watch Sarah and the Eagles this week. As a former coach himself, he watches with a critical eye.
"I still get very nervous," John said. "The coach in me comes out in the games. It's hard to remember I'm down here visiting my daughter and not coaching for a win."
"He watches every game, texts me throughout the game, encouragements and criticisms," Sarah said.
Her success, including Wednesday's performance, doesn't surprise one of her oldest coaches.
"I'd pick up the kids from school and I'd have Sarah and her sisters in the gym with me for a couple of hours. I think it kind of came naturally to her," John said.
Not only is Sarah on the all-conference first team, leading the team in scoring and rebounds, she's not too bad in the classroom either. She carries a 3.95 GPA in chemistry, good enough to be named the A-Sun Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Sarah and the Eagles take on Kennesaw State in the semi-finals Friday at noon.