Myles Hanson is averaging 24.2 points per game and is planning to play basketball at Columbia University in New York in the fall. (Matt Weber, special to the Star Tribune)
Myles Hanson has made his life about two things: business and basketball.
Throughout his time at Chaska High School, he has taken classes in marketing and participated in DECA, a business role-play club that competes against other schools. Last week, he became Chaska’s all-time leading scorer in basketball.
The two worlds will combine once Hanson graduates in June. He plans to go to New York City to attend Columbia University and play basketball, and also start an internship at a sports management and marketing company.
Hanson said he knows basketball won’t be around forever, so playing in New York will open him up to plenty of opportunities in business.
“With sports being as big of a part of my life as they are right now, I don’t want that to go away,” Hanson said. “I just really want to keep sports and business together.”
The Hawks and Hanson have been excelling lately. Chaska is on 12-game winning streak and tied for first in the Metro West conference. Hanson scored 24 points on Tuesday against Bloomington Kennedy, passing Spencer Tollackson for the most in school history.
His game against Bloomington Kennedy was nothing out of the ordinary. He averages 24.2 points per game, including a 48-point outburst with 10 three-pointers against Benilde-St. Margaret’s on Feb. 17.
One of the team’s three captains, Hanson was a crucial part for his team’s turnaround this year, coach Dana Kallman said. The Hawks started the season 3-3 with a tough nonconference schedule, but have since gone 17-2 with only one conference loss.
“He’s a tough kid for other teams to guard. He’s really improved his outside shot and outside game,” Kallman said. “Each year, he’s brought something new that he’s better at.”
Alex Strazzanti, another team captain, said Hanson’s jump shot has set him apart this year. Hanson is 6-5, so Strazzanti said he has always been a great player in the open court but his perimeter offense has excelled.
“He’s one of the best transition players I’ve ever seen,” Strazzanti said. “He’s strong and athletic, and his jump shot has really helped his game out a lot.”
The Hawks needed Hanson’s jump shot this season. Chaska finished the regular season last year at 21-5 but were upset at home by Prior Lake in the first round of the section playoffs. Hanson said the team lost sleep over the loss and started to change how they operated.
The team started to focus on off-the-court chemistry, with extra team meals and gatherings and Hanson was there to help lead the charge.
“You lead by example. You don’t just tell everyone what to do,” Hanson said. “You’re on the court every day working your butt off.”
Kallman knows Hanson well on and off the court. Kallman’s son, Andrew Kallman, is another one of the captains and a longtime friend of Hanson’s. Coach Kallman said Hanson is the type of person who is easily approachable and very mature for his age.
“He’s a super personable guy and can have a conversation with anyone,” Kallman said. “He’s always been that way.”
Hanson needs to be on campus at Columbia by June 15. He’ll start his internship sometime over the summer, marking his first job outside of being a server at local restaurants and teaching basketball to elementary school kids.
The internship was set up through someone he already met at Columbia, and people around him already are excited for his future.
“I can’t wait to see what he does at Columbia because I know it’s going to be awesome,” Strazzanti said.
Mike Hendrickson is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.