June 8, 2006

Hemmings to Join Northern Colorado Basketball and Soccer Programs

June 8, 2006

GREELEY, Colo. - Greeley West High School multi-sport star athlete Sara Hemmings will join the University of Northern Colorado women's basketball and soccer teams this fall, as announced by head basketball coach Jaime White and head soccer coach Tim Barrera on Thursday.

Hemmings will play midfield for the soccer team in the fall and point guard on the basketball team in the winter. An all-around star at Greeley West High School, Hemmings played not only soccer and basketball but also volleyball and tennis as well. She was a finalist for the prestigious Fred Steinmark High School Athlete of the Year award, given to the state's top prep athlete who has competed in at least two high school sports, earned at least one all-state honor, has at least a 3.0 GPA and shows excellence in athletics, academics and citizenship.

On the soccer pitch, Hemmings earned first-team 4A all-state honors as a senior, after scoring 11 goals and adding 18 assists for the Spartans. That included a trio of games (vs. Berthoud, Fort Morgan and Fort Lupton) where she had four assists apiece. She had 10 goals and 11 assists as a junior in 2005. Greeley West, which had a combined 62-12-2 record during her career, was undefeated in its soccer conference in each of her seasons (31-0). She helped the Spartans to 4A state championships in each 2003 and 2004, a semifinal berth in 2005 and an Elite 8 appearance in 2006. She played club soccer with the Bootleggers Soccer Club under former Northern Colorado assistant coach Ryan Jordan.

"I have known Sara since she was in the 5th grade," Barrera said. "She is a great all-around athlete who has been a leader and winner on all of the teams she has played on. She can play a variety of positions, is quick, good on the ball and tough."

On the basketball hardwood, she was a three-time all-state selection and team captain, two-time team MVP and helped Greeley West to a state runner-up finish in 2005 and state semifinal appearance in 2006. Hemmings led the Spartans to a three-year record of 53-16. In 69 career games, she averaged 13.1 points, 4.0 steals and 7.0 assists per game.

"Sara has as good of a shot as any incoming freshmen to help contribute right away," said White, who is in her first year as the program's coach. "We are going to ask her to be a playmaker and get our offense going as a point guard. It will be a great opportunity for Sara to play in front of her home crowd. She is a true point guard and will add a lot of competitive and aggressive energy to our team."

With the Greeley West volleyball team, Hemmings was a two-time team captain, four-year letterwinner and two-time all-league pick. On the tennis court, she was an all-league selection and a state qualifier at No. 3 singles.

In the classroom she graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA and has been a member of the National Honor Society, President of both the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and the Key Club, an AIMS Math and Science Award winner and was named her school's prom queen.

The daughter of Bruce and Josie Hemmings, she is currently undecided on a college major. Her mother was a Hall of Fame volleyball player, and her sister Taryn plays soccer at Denver.