By SHAWN MORAN
The Howard Lady Hawks basketball program has added another commit to their 2020-21 roster. After grabbing two high school commits from around Texas over the past couple of weeks, the Lady Hawks have recently received a commitment from sharpshooting point guard Claudia Hernandez.
Hernandez is a transfer student-athlete who played her first year of college at Laramie County Community College (WY). She did not receive much playing time during her first season at the junior college level and was able to average 3.2 points per game. The main factor that led to Hernandez transferring to Howard was her desire to earn more playing time.
What skills and factors will help Hernandez see more playing time on the hardwood?
“She’s a point guard with experience so that already gives her an advantage,” Lady Hawks assistant coach Meesha Wade said. “Plus she can shoot the three very well.”
Hernandez also believes that her offensive ability will assist her in finding more playing time during her time in Big Spring. She is from Barcelona, Spain and will he moving to her second bite-sized American city in the past two years. The point guard with deep-ball ability enjoyed her time as a member of the Laramie County Golden Eagles.
“At first it was hard because it was difficult to get used to the American game because it was very different from the Spanish game, but then it got easier,” Hernandez said. “I liked Wyoming. I was in Cheyenne and there were many things to do, although it was very different from Barcelona and it was always very cold.”
Luckily for Hernandez, she will not need to deal with another extremely harsh winter this year. She will also have every opportunity to earn playing time and seemed to enjoy her time speaking with Coach Earl Diddle.
In such a strange recruiting season because of the coronavirus pandemic, Diddle has not been able to recruit as many overseas players as he is used to. With the addition of Hernandez, she will now join upcoming sophomore Anais Bonnemaison as the only two foreign players on the team.
“I really liked the school,” Hernandez said. “The team is at a good level and I really liked it when I talked to the coach and the offer that they made me.”
Where does she believe she will be able to impact the game the most during her first year in the red and black?
“I think a few of my strengths would be that I’m a good shooter and I have good court vision,” Hernandez said.
The Lady Hawks could use both of those skills on the hardwood this upcoming winter. With only two returning players, Bonnemaison and guard Tatym Barnes, there will be plenty of new talent added to the equation before the next season begins.
If Hernandez is able to continue to improve and put the sour taste of her limited playing time at Laramie County to rest, then she could be an instant big-time contributor for the Lady Hawks right away.
Although, there will be competition for the second-year player and no starting spot will be given without that player earning it. Hernandez’ spot in the lineup is still a question mark as of right now but the junior college veteran would not have chosen Howard if there was not a chance for her to earn significant playing time.
The athletic guard has been playing the game of basketball since she was just six years old. With a little over five months to go before the start of the 2020-21 season, she can now shift her attention from her recruitment to her improvement on the court.
Hernandez’ commitment to Howard is simply the next step in her journey through the world of the game that she loves.
Shawn Moran is the sportswriter at the Big Spring Herald. To contact him, e-mail email@example.com or call 432-263-7331.