Barber Chooses 'Bama

Barber Chooses 'Bama
Hannah Barber

Hannah Barber brings a confidence to the point guard position that few possess. *Photo by Ty Freeman.

Hannah Barber exudes confidence on the floor.  You can watch her play for a couple of possessions and see that the 5-foot-6 Birmingham, Alabama, native is in control on the court.  That swagger, if you will, traces back to the sixth grade and has carried her all the way to a her future college home, Alabama.

Barber, the No. 98 prospect in the ELITE 100 for the 2018 class, chose the Crimson Tide over finalists Belmont, Dayton, Marshall and UAB, among others.

The four-star point guard is a rare one in the age of digital communication in that she can clearly communicate verbally, something that she attributes to working with coach JoVanka Ward.  She started training with Ward in the sixth grade and the emphasis in those early years has had a profound impact on the player and person Barber is.

“Coach Ward really enforced being vocal,” Ward said.  “Really it was shooting form and talking from the beginning.  Talking leads to confidence and being a leader.”

Barber would move to Homewood, Alabama, in the 7th grade and become eligible to play at Homewood High School as an eighth grader.  In her second year there, along with eight other freshmen, she would win a state title, setting up the expectation with a young core of potentially winning four in a row.

“My freshman year we kind of crept up some people,” Barber said while also praising the three seniors who came off the bench but set the expectations for the team.

The encore wasn’t what Barber and her teammates had hoped for, losing in the championship game.  But that moment has lead to growth.

“It was a pretty humbling year for us last year,” Barber said.

With so many returning players including all the starters, the lesson was learned of all the non basketball related things that can derail a team.  A lesson that wasn’t wasted on Barber and one that should serve her well in Tuscaloosa as the Tide looks to fight up the SEC ladder.

"Barber is a dynamic point guard who has the skill to help the Crimson Tide on day one,” Brandon Clay of said. “Her commitment is arguably the biggest yet from an in-state prospect. Barber's ability to quarterback the position makes her one of the region's premier prospects. She showed the skill to make the right read in the pick and roll action on multiple occasions at the PSB End Of The Road tourney last month."

Barber’s parents attended Auburn and UAB, respectively, so Bama wasn’t the traditional dream school and in fact at one point it looked as if Dayton might win the recruiting race for her.  The relationship forged between Barber and head coach Kristy Curry changed all that.

With recruiting now out of the way, ironically on the first day of practice for her junior season, Barber can get back to the business of winning state championships and improving as a player.  Having the decision out of the way should serve as a warning to the rest of the state that her focus is keenly on finishing her career on top.

Chris Hansen is managing editor of and serves on the McDonald’s All-American and Naismith Trophy selection committees.  He was a co-founder of and the national director of scouting for ESPN HoopGurlz from 2005 until 2012 and is the director of the Check Me Out Showcase.  He can be reached at

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