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Trapper men ink top Colorado scorer

Hansen should excite NWC fans

Call it a daily double for Northwest College men’s basketball coach Andy Ward. Weeks after announcing the signing of Colorado’s top prep rebounder, Jeffrey Solarin, to a letter of intent, the Trapper head coach went south of the border to ink an agreement with the state’s top scorer as well.

Chris Hansen, a graduate of Fossil Ridge High School and former prep teammate of current NWC sophomore Ty Ackelson, will join the Trappers program in the fall. He averaged 28.7 points per contest as a senior. Included in that number are three games of 40 points or more.

“We are very excited,” Ward said about pulling in the 6-foot-5 Hansen. “He’s the real deal. I think people are going to enjoy coming to watch him play.”

Hansen isn’t just a scoring machine either. In addition to his prolific senior year point totals, he also managed to average 9.3 points, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He shot better than 45 percent from 3-point range and hit 86 percent of his free throws.

As a sophomore in high school, Hansen’s hoop path appeared to be leading him in the direction of an NCAA Division I opportunity. In the summer before his junior year, Hansen suffered a broken leg during a basketball camp. Initially, the injury was thought to possibly be severe enough to prevent Hansen from ever playing again.

One year, one metal rod and nine screws later, Hansen fought his way back and returned to the basketball court. Interest from Division I programs didn’t return as easily. Their loss, however, is the Trappers’ gain.

“We’re getting a good kid off the floor as well,” Ward said, noting that Hansen has become a source of inspiration for a 9-year old suffering from Legg-Calve-Perthes syndrome, a condition disrupting blood supply to the femur that can cause a sufferer’s legs to grow to become different lengths. “He’s really become an inspiration for this kid and kind of taken him under his wing.”

So much so that when Hansen earned a $1,500 scholarship from Denver Nuggets head athletic trainer Jim Gillen for being named the state’s inaugural Comeback Athlete of the Year award winner, he asked if the money could instead go toward the medical expenses of his young protege instead.

Hansen is the latest of three signings announced by Ward for the upcoming season. The Trappers have also recently added a pair of Utah players to their roster, according to Ward.

Konner Frey, from Bountiful, Utah, is a 6-5 player who was named to the Salt Lake Tribune’s all-Metro team this past season. Frey emerged as one of the city’s top high school players as a senior, averaging more than 12 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest.

Zach Stanley, from Lehi, Utah, is a 6-0 guard who was also considered a football and soccer standout at the high school level. Stanley averaged 13 points per game while also finding a way to average 5.1 assists per night for his prep team.

The Trappers will likely make two more signings before calling wraps to the recruiting season. Ward indicated the team is pursuing a pair international players to fill the remaining roster slots.

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