January 23, 2012

Big or small, Tabron does it all

Kevin McCarthy

Christopher High (Gilroy) Coach Heather Stewart envisioned the future when she encountered Hanna Tabron, seeing a "big man," but visualizing her young prospect as someone running her offense. That assessment has paid huge dividends for both.

The result of the position change is that the 6-foot Tabron has blossomed into an equal opportunity contributor, a 2013 college basketball prospect currently scoring 19.5 points, grabbing 7.2 rebounds and nabbing 4.6 steals a game for the 11-4, 4-0 Monterey Bay League Cougars. She also plays for the West Valley Basketball Club, the same for Stewart vis-a-vis coaching duties.

photo of Hanna Tabron player
(photo by Johnathan Benavente)

"I could immediately see Hanna's potential," Stewart recalls of her viewing the freshman Tabron. "She was previously playing the post in middle school due to her height, but because of her collegiate potential, I made her our point guard and began teaching her perimeter skills."

Responding to a query about her basketball play that year compared to now, Tabron replied, "I started out in the post, because I was taller than everybody, but Coach Stewart saw me differently and really worked with me."

For those keeping track, Tabron is currently swinging between the two and three spots (shooting guard and small forward, in laymen's terms) at Christopher because of the addition of a new point guard transferring in from Valley Christian High.

Responding to being asked about her best basketball skills,Tabron modestly offered: "My ability to cover ground. I have a fast first step."

Stewart concurs: "Hanna really glides. She can get down court in three dribbles and go from the wing to the basket in one."

But here is Stewart on her protégé's full skills set: "The best thing about Hanna is her unselfish play -- I sometimes have to ask her to shoot more. She's also a great passer, distributing the ball very well. Hanna really understands passing lanes. Defensively, she has a knack for the ball, helped by her wingspan being an inch and a half more than her height."

Stewart added, "Hanna has a quietness about her. She's not a flashy player, but you look up and she has 25 points."

Initially it was soccer for Tabron -- just imagine her field coverage in that sport.

"I started with soccer, but switched to basketball in the sixth grade," Tabron explained.

One of the reasons she did so is because hoops runs deep in the family. In fact, there is a tradition as both her father and mother played basketball at the University of the Pacific. "It's something in which our whole family (including future 2015 collegiate prospect, younger sister and Christopher teammate Olivia Tabron) can participate."

The realization about a athletic scholarship being in her future appeared "probably the time between the eighth grade and my freshman year," according to Tabron. "My club team went to the nationals that summer, and it was also around the time I first met Coach Stewart."

She's pondering sports medicine, physical therapy, and nursing as possible college majors, because she said that she likes "being around sports." With a current GPA of 4.17, any academic program will be fortunate to have her.

What's interesting is watching her climb the ladder in the points-scored category. Tabron totaled 226 points as a freshman, 359 in her sophomore season and has 266 to her credit so far in 2011-12. That's just 149 short of a 1,000 and it's still midway through her third year.

Local and regional schools are already aware of Tabron and it will be a larger stage for her this summer, one that is bound to generate an even larger volume of interest. The resulting college visits will probably require covering a lot of territory but hey, that's already right up her alley.