Nickerson hires Hannah Millershaski as new women’s basketball coach

NICKERSON – Presentation by Hannah Millershaski.

She’s got some big shoes to fill as she’s been named the new high school girls’ basketball coach at Nickerson High School.

Millershaski, who attended South Gray High School in Montezuma, Kansas, was previously a college assistant at Garden City before seeing the position open up at Nickerson. She will also be a preschool teacher at Nickerson Elementary School starting next school year.

She replaces Jon McLean, who will be the athletic director of Hutchinson High School from July. McLean led the Lady Panthers to four berths in state tournaments, including three last four appearances in five seasons.

Millershaski visited Nickerson and was introduced to her future players. She saw the gym that hosted one of Kansas’ toughest substates last season.

“I have big shoes to fill,” Millershaski said. “Jon is a great guy, and he’s built a really good program.

“I went to meet the girls (last Friday), and it was awesome. You can tell they look up to Jon a lot. He showed me around the gym and backstage. He put everything in place to make it happen. was really cool to see that.”

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Millershaski’s goal has always been to become a head coach. She played basketball at South Gray and also played in WKE, an AAU basketball team, before later becoming the team’s coach.

“I’ve been playing basketball since I can remember walking,” Millershaski said. “It was really cool. Then I also had the chance to coach at Garden City High School as an assistant coach. It was like a whole new world for me, going from 1A basketball to 6A basketball, but I learned a lot from head coach Matt Pfeifer there, and it was a really cool experience.”

Nickerson Girls head coach Jon McLean calls out his players during their game against Frontenac in the Class 3A State Basketball Championship quarterfinals, Thursday, March 10, 2022, at Sports Arena.  Nickerson beat Frontenac 47-40.

Since getting the job, she said McLean helped prepare her for the coaching role. She said they exchanged texts and were in communication, asking McLean to offer her advice whenever she needed it.

She said she was a little nervous but also excited to get started.

“‘Like ‘no pressure,'” Millershaski said. “(Jon) gave me his cell phone number, and we’ve been in touch. So he’s always like, ‘If you need anything, let me know.’ he’s leaving for a job opportunity for his professional career. So it’s not like he doesn’t want to be there. It helps a lot that he’s just in this town and he can help me when I need it. I need. It makes me feel good to know that he’s going to want the best for the program, even if he’s not there.”

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Garden City to Hutchinson is nearly three hours away. With her move, Millershaski said she was thrilled to have the opportunity to move on to another chapter in her life.

“I knew as a young bachelor this would be a great opportunity for me to get out of southwest Kansas and start something for myself,” Millershaski said. “As I said, Jon built this program so well.”

“I’m just going to build on what he’s already created.”

In addition to coaching, Millershaski taught fifth- and sixth-grade students and also filled in at Garden City while coaching there. She said preschoolers are just happy people and can’t wait to get started.

“I also think it’s pretty cool that I’m someone’s first teacher.”

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Billy Watson is the sports reporter for The Hutchinson News and has been in Kansas since March 2021. To pitch story ideas, you can email [email protected] or direct message on Twitter @hutchsports Where @billywatson4l.

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