There must have been a party in Oklahoma City last December like few that city has ever seen. A local hero had found her way home. She had graduated from a prestigious eastern university(early, I might add) and won a National Championship with her teammates in her hometown. All the hard work, injuries, and disappointment must have melted away as the confetti fell from the rafters of the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Micha Hancock had come all the way home in storybook style.
She arrived in State College a raw, talented, and fiery competitor four years earlier. The crowd at Rec Hall fell in love the first time she launched that trademark, booming, left handed serve, and soon tisssssssssss. BOOM. would become as familiar as any cheer in any venue on the campus of Penn State. Micha was where she needed to be, to improve, learn and eventually lead the Nittany Lions back to where she came from, not far from the OKC.
Since then I have been wondering, how can I find a way to get my "Five Questions" to Micha? Who could "set" me up with this awesome opportunity? The answer is kind of obvious. Setting was never Deja McClendon's job, but I passed my email to her, and she lofted a high arching lob, with a little extra on it for a lefthander to hit, and Micha CRUSHED her answers and ACED my quiz. Not like she hasn't done that before!
.You've been wondering, where in the world is Micha Hancock? I found her! Here is what she has been up to...
Penn State University
Hometown- Edmond, OK
Current City- Krakow, Poland
Not too long after graduating you had the opportunity to play in Puerto Rico. How was that first pro season and what are your favorite memories of Puerto Rico?
I played first in Italy, then in Puerto Rico, but I enjoyed getting to know the career I was getting myself into. I learned a lot by playing with people who have had a lot of experience. We got in to the Finals of the playoffs and even though we didn't win, I'm happy I got to experience that “FINALS” atmosphere in PR. Also my boyfriend got to come vacation and we hit the beach a time or two.
You were able to start your pro career almost right after your final season at Penn State. How does an athlete with so many extra responsibilities graduate ahead of schedule?
Well I believe that i juggled it all pretty well, but I wont lie to you I was more invested in my volleyball, not that i didn't enjoy learning, but in my later years I was definitely better at putting a better foot forward as far as grades go. I see it as if it's important you will find the time.
You are currently playing for MKS Tauron Dawbrowa Gornicza in Poland. New team, New teammates, new language... How are you adjusting and what is your favorite thing about Poland?
I’m adjusting and it's never easy. it's a very lonely lifestyle. You find things to do, take walks, go to malls, see movies, talk with family on FACETIME… I love my teammates. More speak english than i had expected and they are all very team oriented. I honestly think the people are the biggest surprise and favorite thing here, they are so family oriented… grateful people
You are also reunited with Deja McClendon. How much does it mean to have a familiar face with you? Is it just a little more special to connect with her in clutch situations?
I am stoked to have Deja here. and YES because we have a connection already having played together its more natural and its just fun to compete with her
Your career has been spectacular so far! Are there a few people who stand out as big assets on your volleyball journey?
MY MOM (Kelly) DAD (Mike)
Going home to win an NCAA title had to have been a real rush! Looking back, when you found out finals would be in OKC did it provide extra motivation? What is one moment from that weekend that still stands out as your favorite?
Yes it did. But I wasn't thinking about this day to day, I think especially being at Penn State you want to be great and the best so you work for that grind… It was just one day at a time attitude, the senior mentality that kept me going. I really enjoyed winning the title because we had young players on the floor and honestly I just wanted them to know how it felt, I felt like it was my job to give them a taste of how good the hard work paying off actually tastes lol … continue the tradition… my favorite moment was that we ended the year that way.. the hard work and determination of the young players coming in the gym hungry everyday… I felt like a proud mama bear. ALSO that my friend and teammate(Megan Courtney) got MVP I was so proud of her… she is a very hard worker and competes all the time!
I say this after each one of our "Five Question" segments, and it is certainly true today. I am so fortunate to have found a pathway to some of the most interesting, compelling, and athletic athletes on the planet. I hope we can keep this moving forward! Micha was tough to get, but I couldn't be happier with how this turned out! Thank you Micha Hancock for participating in our series, and of course thanks again to Deja for such a perfect set!
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