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Former College Football Hopeful Contributes to St. Louis CC Archers' Defense
 January 30, 2013

By Tim Doty, special to STLCC.edu/archers

Brandon Hannah’s path to the St. Louis Community College men’s basketball team wasn’t the typical recruitment story. Before basketball at STLCC, Hannah came close to playing under Gary Pinkel and the University of Missouri-Columbia football team.

Hannah played only one year of football for Chaminade College Preparatory School (Mo.) — his freshman year. As a wide receiver for the Red Devils, Hannah had a team-high 302 receiving yards but never took the field again due to injuries.

Despite the injuries, Hannah still focused on college football and planned to attend Mizzou. He would have been a Tiger for fall 2012.

But Hannah’s life took a different path. He “failed to qualify academically” for Mizzou, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in June 2011. Hannah said his reaction was similar to any football player who wanted to play in college. His family helped him manage the shock of missing out on the chance.

“It was actually a hard thing to deal with,” Hannah said. “I got through it thanks to my family and friends helping me get through the pain. I kept pushing through and saw school as my second option.”

After the setback and during his injuries, Hannah said he still tried to pursue college football at other schools but weighed his options, and “football kind of faded after that.”

Fortunately, Hannah was a two-sport athlete at Chaminade.  The 2011 graduate also played basketball for the Red Devils. He was a forward/center for the 2009 Class 5 state championship team his sophomore year. He shared the court with Bradley Beal, who currently plays for the Washington Wizards of the NBA.

Hannah’s sophomore year would be the last on the court at Chaminade. Injuries continued to plague Hannah, who said they made him see everything differently while on the bench. Yet Hannah draws on that championship mentality on the court during every game for the Archers.

“I take that experience that I had during the championship run,” Hannah said. “I take that every time I step on the floor. I take it as my responsibility to help my team get through any obstacle they have on the court — and off the court as well.”

Hannah attended Hutchinson Community College (Kan.) in summer 2012 and then transferred to STLCC-Florissant Valley in fall 2012. Yet college basketball wasn’t too strong on his radar. His father, Terrence Staples — a former Forest Park basketball player — talked with Hannah and Archers head coach Randy Albrecht.
“(Staples) called me and said, ‘I’m Terrence Staples. I used to play at Forest Park. I have a son who’s interested in playing,’” Albrecht said. “I said, ‘Who’s your son?’ He said, ‘Brandon Hannah.’ Then, I said, ‘I know exactly who your son is.’ We invited (Hannah) to a workout. He came out and worked out, said he wanted to play basketball again. We offered him a scholarship — he took it. It was a quick recruiting season.”

With that, Hannah returned to basketball. Albrecht said Hannah’s offensive skills were a little “rusty” after missing basketball for three years, and they are still a work in progress — but Hannah’s defense and physicality are a definite plus for the Archers.

Hannah is averaging 4.4 rebounds per game, third among active STLCC players in 2012-13. He also has 87 total rebounds, which also is third among active Archers this season. Hannah amassed 10 rebounds off the bench against Three Rivers Community College Jan. 22.

“That has a lot to do with his physical makeup,” Albrecht said. “He’s quick, he’s strong, he jumps decent, and he’s aggressive. That part of his game is there. Defensively, he can do some good things there, too, because of his athletic ability.”

Albrecht noted that Hannah’s outgoing personality and leadership ability also are invaluable on the court and in the locker room.

“He’s a high-energy person,” Albrecht said. “I think he’s brought a lot to the team in that regard. He’s vocal in the locker room before the games. He’s fearless.”

Hannah said playing basketball at the same school his father did gives him a good feeling.

“That seems pretty cool to me,” Hannah said. “To follow in my dad’s footsteps, that feels amazing to me.”

Hannah wants to study computers and technology while in college and said if he transfers, he wants to play basketball. For now, though, Hannah is focused on his contributions to the Archers.

“I couldn’t have a much better time,” Hannah said. “My freshman year is the majority of a development year for me to help me get a feel for the coaching staff, the team and the way of the team. So, hopefully this year by the end of the season, you’ll see an improvement in my game. Next year, you’ll see a bigger change.”

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