The Duncan Banner

Sports

April 4, 2014

Hammond dominates area scene

COMANCHE — On Nov. 13, outside a board room in the Oklahoma Secondary School Athletic Association offices, Jacob Hammond spoke to the media for the first time as a Comanche boys basketball player with tears forming around his eyes.

With a 7-6 vote, he had won a chance to compete for one season as an Indian after transferring from Sunrise Christian in Bel Aire, Ks. After fighting that hard to be eligible, Hammond didn’t let it go to waste.

He has been named the 2014 All-Area boys player of the year, after a season that saw Comanche win 22 games and make it to the area tournament.

“We all knew the ability that he had,” coach Nick Price said. “In the end, he had the type of year that everybody expected him to have, wanted him to have and that he wanted to have.”

As the highest ranked recruit in Nebraska men’s basketball history playing in Oklahoma’s Class 3A, Hammond was the most disliked player in every road gym. He didn’t get a chance to ease into it either, starting the season off versus rival Marlow. Comanche won that game 51-48, but Hammond fouled out. The loudest cheer of that night and any other night that Hammond fouled out on the road, came when the ref blew the whistle for him to sit down.

“At first he didn’t handle that very well,” Price said. “He let frustrations get to him and didn’t play at the level he could have played at. But I think, no doubt, in the playoffs he did a great job of understanding that ‘Hey nobody likes me. They’re on the other team. They don’t like me, because I’m good. That the best thing for me to do is keep playing hard and doing my thing.’

“He grew up. He matured so much this year. That’s what I’m most impressed with.”

Hammond never expected it to be easy. Even though the opponents might not have been at his caliber, the mental difficulties were high. He knew opponents wanted to shut him down at all costs.

“I guess it’s kind of cool in a way, because everybody was playing their best against me,” Hammond said. “I was just trying to enjoy every bit of it.”

Hammond said the people in Comanche helped him mature. He learned as he came to the end of the season that it was about more than just him. This was a one-year deal, with no do overs. He wanted to pay back the investment that the school and the community had put into him.

“It wasn’t just these two teams playing each other,” Hammond said. “Your communities are behind each other, and it’s a whole lot of stuff that comes with it.”

In many ways, as he enters his first season with Nebraska, Hammond’s experience will be similar. As the highest rated recruit in school history, expectations for the six-foot 10-inch center will be high. Compound that with Nebraska having the sour taste of making it to the NCAA tournament, but losing in the first round. Add in the program’s recent transition to the Big Ten, which sent six teams to March Madness this season, and it makes for a lot of pressure to win right away. He should feel right at home.

“This is in a lot of ways the same scenario,” Hammond said. “Hopefully come in there, and try to get us back to the tournament. Hopefully further than the first round. But it’s definitely helping a lot, because it’s going to be the same way when I go up there.”

Hammond has already started his preparation for Big Ten basketball. He knows it will be a big step up in competition but is anxious to get there.

“It’s nerve-wracking,” Hammond said. “Every day counts as far as getting in the gym, lifting weights, putting up a bunch of shots. I can’t wait. The competition and the level of play is going to be great.”

Before he goes back to track practice, Hammond notes how he is going to see packed gyms with plenty of television viewers at home. He says it’s a scary thought, but thanks to the slimmest of margins in a vote, he at least got a chance to get a warm up in before he handles the big spotlight.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • All Stater Gray represents Duncan at All State

    Jett Gray will represent all of Stephens County at the All State wrestling dual on Wednesday at Bixby High School.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tennis All State group All State wrapup

    There has been plenty of success for Stephens County High Schools this year and with that comes All State nominations.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Duncan tennis sets a new mark of success

    Sustained success for many years makes it difficult for Duncan high school tennis to earn achievements it already hasn’t accomplished.

    July 29, 2014

  • Breaking through For Coffman, All State runs in the family

    Following in his parents’ footsteps, George “Trey” Coffman III takes part in the Oklahoma All State Baseball Game at 7 p.m. in J.L. Johnson Stadium on Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • VA’s Allison coaching small-schools

    In his first year at Velma-Alma, Colt Allison led the Comets to a regional final appearance in baseball, took over as the football head coach and was named the small-schools coach for the baseball All State game on Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Big game atmosphere VYPE picks Duncan to make playoffs

    Despite facing a rigorous schedule, Duncan was picked by VYPE’s preseason football preview to return to the postseason after a one-year hiatus.
    With new coach Craig Benson taking over this season, the magazine predicted Duncan will finish fourth in Class 5A District 1 ahead of Chickasha and behind Ardmore. The Demons are also ranked as the No. 16 team in the Class, with Lawton Mac being the highest ranked team in the district at No. 4.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Local support Dehydrator breaks participation record

    With 626 participants, the 24th annual Dehydrator shattered its attendance record Saturday, welcoming riders from around the world to Duncan.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ash She is Safe 5K draws more than 100

    More than 100 participants flooded the streets of Duncan last night for the annual She is Safe Run to the Dark 5k.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dehydrator to start Saturday morning

    With the highest ever pre-register attendance in event history, 428, the 24th annual Dehydrator Bike Ride kicks off Saturday at 7 a.m. at the Simmons Center.

    July 25, 2014

  • Playing partners Just another day on the course

    Following Thursday’s twosome of Duncan freshman Thomas Strong and sixth-grader Ridge Harris, a casual viewer might forget that they were competing in a golf tournament.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Poll

Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results