Recently, the New Jersey native Hannah Hildago committed to the University of Notre Dame. Naturally, being the No.5 player and No.1 PG in the country this garnered much attention, however, many may not have gotten the opportunity to know who truly Hildago is.
Being born and raised in Pennsauken, New Jersey, she was never given the true amount of exposure she deserved. Yet, she’s still managed to become one of the most respected and highly recruited girls in the country. In fact, she earned her respect amongst coaches around the country and peers that she was given an opportunity to represent her country, the USA, this past Summer in Hungary. The U17 FIBA World Cup was held in Hungary and many girls like Hildago were forced to spend a month or so away from their support systems family. Ultimately, they won the entirety of the tournament and returned the gold back to America.
“The experience was super surreal to be one of 12 girls to get picked to compete for their country,” Hidalgo stated during her Sh3GotGame Interview. “It was an honor.”
Where it all Started for Hannah Hildago?
Naturally, with the majority of her immediate family growing up playing basketball she’d want to follow suit as well. Her parents, Tamara and Orlando, introduced her to the game at a very young age. Not to mention, all of her older siblings played the game, therefore, she was often around the game growing up. Essentially, she was destined to play basketball unintentionally.
Yet, she admits the part of the game that came the most naturally to her was the defensive aspect. She understood it was important to the game of basketball. However, she didn’t begin really taking defense seriously until the third and fourth grades. Once she realized what the defensive side of the ball did for the team, as well as, her game individually it changed her mindset forever. Hidalgo expresses often times she’d win the game on the defense before they ever even scored a point.
“Often times getting consecutive stops can be demoralizing to a team,” Hidalgo stated. “I often tried to win the game before it started by attacking and being relentless on defense.”
According to Hildago the tenacity, swagger, and energy she often brings to the team stem from her immediate family’s extremely competitive nature. Often they have fun family competitions during the holiday season where the winner may win some cool gifts. In so many words, it’s instilled in her and it’s a part of her makeup.