Rebekah and Hannah Hand are tearing up the court for the Liberty Christian girls basketball team this season, and with the playoffs looming in the not so distant future, it could be a big year for the Lady Warriors.
If the name sounds familiar it should; Whitney Hand helped lead Liberty Christian to two consecutive state championships back in 2007 and 2008, before accepting a full scholarship to the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
Liberty Christian girls basketball coach Ken Burroughs said he has been very impressed with what he has seen from the Hand family over the years, and said Rebekah and Hannah are definitely making their presences felt on the court in 2013.
“Both of them are hard working, very athletic and very talented young girls that have a great, great future in front of them,” Burroughs said. “They practice hard, they play hard, they compete, and that is what is so huge. Not everybody will compete. A lot of them will play, but there is a difference.
“You can rest assured that when that ball is tossed up, they are getting ready to compete.”
While Burroughs said the girls have many similarities as players, they also have unique sets of skills that compliment the others sets very well.
“They are different players,” Burroughs said. “Rebekah probably shoots more from the three point line. Both of them defend very well. Hannah does a real good job of finishing around the rim.”
Burroughs said it is difficult for him to tell what the girls are capable of accomplishing on the court, but said he is constantly impressed with what he sees from the sisters.
“Just watching them, they love the game,” Burroughs said. “They put in extra time, other than what is required of them in practice. They stay after school. They’ll come up on the weekends, and they work on this thing almost year round to continue to try to get better.
“When you have that kind of work ethic, its’ hard to imagine what kind of a future they are going to have or what their potential could actually be.”
The freshman twins have not had the opportunity to play together that much this season, as Hannah broke her foot in a scrimmage in late October, but she has been back for a couple of weeks, and Rebekah said having her sister back has been great.
“We’ve been on the same team since we were little kids,” Rebekah said. “So it’s really cool, because we have a connection between us. We pretty much know what to expect from each other.”
Rebekah said that even though she always hears about what a great player her older sister Whitney is, she and her sister have not really felt much extra pressure from anyone about their basketball careers.
“There was at first, but now that we are getting more comfortable, it’s not as bad,” Rebekah said. “I think we have a great chance this year, and it would mean a lot to win a state championship with my sister and the rest of my teammates.”
Both shooting guards, Rebekah and Hannah account for a big portion of the Lady Warriors offense, and Hannah said she tries to bring a couple of things to the team.
“I try to bring encouragement to the team when I’m not playing, and when we’re down, trying to get everyone pumped,” Hannah said. “With my foot injury, it was difficult watching everyone else play at first. But, it made me learn how to see the floor when I’m not playing, and go through those things mentally.”
Rebekah has averaged more than 17 points per game this season and now that Hannah is back, the Lady Warriors appear poised to make a long playoff run.
Burroughs said it is quite a luxury having the Hand sisters and the entire freshman group he has for the next four years.
“This might be the best freshman class that I’ve had anywhere,” Burroughs said. “We start four freshmen right now, and I think that is what’s so exciting. To be able to start four freshman, it is a great feeling.
“With Rebekah and Hannah and the potential of what we could be for the next three years, it is really an exciting time for Liberty Christian.”
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