It took a roundabout path, but Moscow High grad Hannah Broyles eventually ended up right where she wanted to be.
After suffering a torn ACL just six games into her senior season in 2018, Broyles wasn’t sure she’d still be playing college basketball.
Nearly two years later, the 5-foot-8 shooting guard is fresh off averaging 14.6 points per game at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore., and is returning to north central Idaho to join the Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston. She’ll have three years of eligibility remaining with the Warriors.
“It’s going to be awesome to be closer to my family and my friends, knowing that they’ll get to watch more of my games,” Broyles said. “I’ve grown up talking and thinking about going to LCSC pretty much my whole life to play basketball, so now to be coming back and actually doing it is pretty awesome.”
Broyles was putting up 17 points and 8 rebounds per game as team captain for the Bears when a knee injury ended her high school career.
She was just starting to play the best basketball of her life. L-C women’s coach Brian Orr recalled seeing her torch the Lewiston Bengals in a game in Lewiston.
“Honestly, the night she put up 34 points on the Bengals at Booth Hall we moved her to the top of (our) recruiting list,” Orr said. “Her athleticism and fearless style are two things about her game that really stand out.”
After the injury, Broyles had to find other ways to contribute to the team, whether it was helping teach plays or provide encouragement to the younger players. It may seem like a small thing, Broyles said, but to an athlete, a significant injury can feel like your world is crumbling around you.
“We had a pretty young team, and after I tore my ACL, I had to learn patience again and how to be a leader, especially when you can’t be out there,” she said. “It gave me a lot of respect for coaches and a new way to see the game from watching it almost an entire year from the bench.”
Broyles didn’t play right away at TVCC, but by the time conference play began she was playing nearly 40 minutes per contest.
The gradual return to competitive basketball allowed her to return to her peak performance at her own pace. There was no rush.
“It worked out better than I could’ve probably imagined,” Broyles said.
At L-C, Broyles joins a perennial contender in the NAIA Frontier Conference. The Warriors are coming off back-to-back seasons of more than 20 wins.
But Broyles already knows all about that. She grew up going to youth tournaments at L-C since she was in elementary school and she’s been a fan of the program most of her life. She said the support the L-C women receive from the Lewiston community is inspiring.
“I think it’s going to be surreal when I do play in that first game,” Broyles said, “to be playing on the main court as a 19-year-old, not an 11-year-old, in an L-C jersey. I think that’s going to be pretty surreal and pretty awesome.”
The excitement is mutual.
“We are excited Hannah chose to finish her career as a Warrior,” Orr said. “We recruited her when she was in high school and feel lucky to be bringing her in as a sophomore transfer.”
In Lewiston, Broyles will also be closer to her old high school coach, Karlee Wilson, who now coaches the Bengals.
Broyles said she still uses some of the wisdom she learned from her old mentor.
“No matter how things are going on the court in the game, you still have to work your hardest and do your best because what’s the point of being there if you’re not going to do that,” she said. “I think that’s something Karlee really instilled in me my senior year was you need to work harder than you think you can.
“You can use that in all aspects in your life, which is an awesome lesson.”
Stephan Wiebe can be reached at email@example.com, by phone at 208-883-4624 and on Twitter at @StephanSports.