By David Wilson
Erin Hagan of the women’s basketball team plans to be a key player in the Broncos bouncing back from a disappointing last season.
Long before Hagan stepped on the court for Cal Poly Pomona, her love for basketball was instilled from her parents
“My mom actually was a big influence in me playing basketball,” said Hagan. “She played since she was in seventh grade and actually played at USC for a year. My dad has always been a sports fan, so they introduced a lot of sports to me growing up but I really connected with basketball.”
Hagan had been playing basketball seriously for nine years when she decided to attend CPP, Long Beach Millikan High School.
“It was definitely a top choice,” said Hagan. “After I came on campus and met the coaches and met the professors I really knew that this is where I wanted to be.”
For CPP head coach Danelle Bishop, Hagan possessed many qualities on and off the court that caught her attention.
“She had a lot of upside and I think that was the biggest thing,” said Bishop. “She’s athletic, she’s a really good defender and she worked hard. Millikan wins a lot, so they have a winning mentality and that’s always important to try and recruit players that know how to win.”
Bishop also describes Hagan as an, “excellent student,” which is a necessary attribute for student-athletes who want to attend CPP.
When she arrived at CPP, Hagan had to accept a role on the team that she had not experienced during her high school career.
“In high school I was top scorer, did everything for my team,” said Hagan. “When I came here that’s not what they needed from me. Coach Bishop told me, ‘right now we just need defense from you,’ so I knew that if I played the best defense that I could I would see a lot of minutes.”
During her first three years, Bishop has seen Hagan go from an introverted freshman to a team leader.
“She has grown in all aspects,” said Bishop. “She’s grown into a leader on our team right now. She knows our expectations, she knows the program, she wants to win.”
Bishop believes Hagan’s experience as a freshman being on a team that made it to the Division II Final Four has impacted her maturity as a player. For Hagan, that moment was by far the most memorable during her time at CPP.
“We had such a great team, such a great group of girls,” said Hagan. “That was the highlight of my college career, going to Eerie, Pennsylvania and competing at a national level.”
Because of the Broncos youth, as a junior last year Hagan started taking on a leadership position on the team.
“This year I’m a lot more vocal, last year was a lesson for me,” said Hagan. “I know that I need to lead vocally and by example so I think that I’m a better leader this year than I was last year.”
CPP’s other senior Marshanique Hall, a transfer student from San Joaquin Delta College, saw immediately the kind of leader Hagan was.
“When I first met Erin, I could already tell she was a leader because when we first got in the locker room she was explaining what not to do and what to do,” said Hall. “It’s not always vocal but because she plays really hard, she leads intellectually.”
Despite only being on the team for one year, Hall and Hagan have formed a friendship that has improved their performance on the court.
“Our relationship has grown to where we hang out a lot off the court,” said Hall. “It builds chemistry among us. You learn people’s personalities so you get to know their background better, so you understand what they’re going through and where they come from.”
After an 11-17 overall record and a first round playoff exit, Hagan is looking to end her collegiate basketball career on a better note.
“I think we’ll do great,” said Hagan. “This year we’re so deep, from number one to number 12 we can all produce, we can all contribute. I think we can at least finish at least top three in the conference.”
As a point guard, Hagan is vital to the overall success of this year’s team.
“On defense we mix it up and play a matchup type zone and she understands the concepts of it so that’s going to be huge,” said Bishop. “On top of that we need her to score… I’m confident she’ll be able to do that.”
Whatever happens during the basketball season, winter quarter will be Hagan’s last at CPP as she plans to graduate early.
Her academic success is something she will be able to take beyond life as a Bronco. The sociology major has been named to the California Collegiate Athletic Association All-Academic Award Winners List the past two years and has been named to the Dean’s List six times.
“I’m going to give it my all this year and then hang up the shoes, said Hagan. “I plan on going to grad school to get my MBA.”
Courtesy of Bronco Athletics
The 2016-17 women’s basketball team
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