Amherst College Women's Basketball Team Wins NCAA DIII National Championship -photo courtesy Amherst College
AMHERST, MASS—To say that Amherst College’s point guard Hannah Fox was having a good year would simply be an understatement.
The 5’7” sophomore helped her team win the NCAA Division 3 National Championship defeating Bowdoin College 65-45 for the title. The victory marked Amherst’s second consecutive undefeated season as well as its second consecutive National Championship.
Fox scored 12 points, three assists two steals and seven rebounds during that game. In fact, Fox was the top three-point shooter (36.4%) and starting point guard for every game contributing to the Mammoth’s (33-0) record.
“I am so excited to be a part of this program," said Fox. "Helping the team win the National Championship was my proudest achievement. Just knowing that each possession during that game really made a difference and being able to experience and to look back at it thru game films and pictures was an experience I will truly remember forever."
Fox praised her teammates and stressed that the success of her squad was a combination of cohesiveness, determination and defense.
“Each and every second we were in the gym was truly amazing."
“We all had the same goal coming into the season. We just put 100 percent effort in whether it be at practice or at a game and we really worked at achieving that National Championship goal. We were determined and refused to let anything, or any adversity get in our way. We all had each other’s backs. We really took pride in limiting other teams’ abilities from being able to score changing the momentum of each and every game," said Fox.
Fox lauds the experience and commitment that head coach G.P. Gromacki brings to the team.
Amherst College sophomore point guard Hannah Fox cuts down a piece of the net after winning the NCAA DIII National Championship -photo courtesy Amherst College Athletics
“His preparation is unbelievable. We always felt we were completely prepared for every team that we were going to play whether it be knowing every single detail about the other team or knowing exactly what we needed to do to win that game. And just like on a personal level I want to do whatever I can to help our team win and everyone on the team feels the same way. He will do whatever possible to put us in the best situation for us to win the National Championship,” said Fox.
Amherst Head Coach G.P. Gromacki leads Mammoths to 2nd consecutive NCAA DIII Championship Title -photo courtesy Amherst Athletics
For Fox, having the position as starting point guard is truly an honor.
“I’ve learned so much from my teammates and the coaches” said Fox. “But the key thing I’ve learned this year is leadership."
“Knowing each of my teammates style of play and their preferences to help everyone succeed one way or another was important. We were all working together and knowing each other’s capabilities and building a sense of comfort, but also not limiting anyone’s sense of determination to learn and improve upon was something that we built upon every day.
“One day one person stepped up the next day another person stepped up. Leadership is very contagious here,” said Fox.
Gromacki is no stranger when it comes to coaching a talented team. Just named National Coach of the Year for the second year in a row by D3Hoops.com, Gromacki has won three national titles in his 11 years at Amherst and knows a gifted player when he sees one.
“It’s not just her basketball skills but it is her leadership. She is a very intelligent player. She is just a determined winner and is someone that competes in everything she does,” said Gromacki. “She does things out there that we have not seen before.”
One of those “things” Gromacki emphasized about Fox received national attention.
“One of the first plays she made, which I believe it was in the first or second game of the season, was a move that made number 5 on ESPNW’s TOP 10 plays of the week. After she made the play the announcer said “did she really just do that?” said Gromacki.
She sure did.
Fox averaged 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game and shot 40.4 percent from the floor and 35 percent from behind the three-point line.
“Hannah is an extremely gifted player and just a joy to coach because of the intangibles along with her talent level which is very high,” said Gromacki.
Hannah Fox currently holds the school record at William Penn Charter in career points with 1,813. She is pictured with her parents and grandfather during her high school senior day -PSD Photo.
Her strong leadership, competitive spirit and drive to succeed is synonymous with Fox. After all, Fox a graduate of William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, made history and holds the schools record from a basketball player with an astounding 1,813 total points. Her transition from playing in high school to the collegiate level was seamless.
“Hannah is a very skilled basketball player who has spent countless hours working on her game. She is very competitive and always wanted to be the best in every drill or competition that we had. There is always an adjustment period when you go to the next level, but because of Hannah's work ethic, I am not surprised that it did not take her long to adjust,” said Penn Charter head basketball coach Joe Maguire.
Her list of accolades continues. This year Fox was recognized by the Womens' Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) as Honorable Mention to the All-America team, she was named All-American by D3Hoops.com and also named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team.
And just when you thought Fox would be taking it easy for the rest of the semester, think again. You can see her in action donning the #22 as midfielder on Amherst ‘s lacrosse team, which is currently (11-1) in the season.
When asked what advice she would give to other young athletes wanting to play multiple sports at the collegiate level, Fox did not hesitate.
“Dream big and have big goals.”
“Never give up on your goals no matter what and if playing a sport in college is something you really want to do keep working hard, do your research and know that you will find something that makes you happy. Most of all, play for a program that you really want to be a part of."
Hannah Fox pictured left front with members of her team holding the NCAA DIII Championship trophy -photo courtesy Amherst Athletics
As for her future aspirations off the court, Fox would like to pursue a career in business and finance.
(Angela DelVecchio can be reached at Phillysportsdigest@gmail.com)