Riverhawk athlete gets All-American selection


Arianna Beers

The NJCAA awarded second-year guard Karley Haensler All-American Third Team.

Arianna Beers, Sports Editor

The National Junior College Athletic Association named an AACC Women’s Basketball player to its Division III All-American Third Team on April 8.

Karley Haensler, who averaged 18 points and 5 rebounds per game this year, received the All-American Third Team nomination because of her play in the 2018-2019 basketball season.

Haensler, a second-year guard and transfer studies student, said receiving the nomination “was a humbling experience. I wasn’t really expecting it so it was pretty exciting knowing I got picked.”

Head Women’s Basketball coach Lionel Makell said Haensler was a key player in the team’s journey to the Division III National Tournament this season.

“[A] majority of the games she played she was really on point,” Makell said. “She was our serious outside consistent three-point threat that we had on the team.”

Sarah Healy, a first-year center and transfer studies student, said her teammate Haensler excelled at shooting this season.

“Karley did amazing at all things offense,” Healy said. “She was killer at three-point shots and a killer at making free throws.”

Makell said Haensler came to AACC from Baltimore County Community College, and meshed well with her fellow Riverhawks.

“She mixed in very well with the team,” Makell said. “She had been through some struggles at Baltimore County Community College. … Coming to Anne Arundel she felt instant family atmosphere right from the beginning with the girls.”

Assistant Women’s Basketball coach Kenneth Blake said Haensler was an essential offensive force for the team this season.

“Karley was a very big part of the stuff we did this year, especially shooting threes from the outside,” Blake said.

Blake added Haensler’s ability to brush off distractions and remain focused during games was an impressive characteristic she showed this season.

“Karley is a very driven athlete, and she is also very comical,” Blake said. “And I think that helps her game because she is so funny and there are so many things that go on in the course of the game that she is able to just bring herself back into focus.”

Haensler, who has been playing basketball since she was in the fourth grade, said she learned to put mistakes behind her this season and focus on the game.

“I think my whole thing this season was just next play,” she said. “At the beginning of the season I would get frustrated easily with a whole bunch of things. But towards the end of the season, I kept telling myself, ‘Next play’ and, ‘Just keep going and leave it all on the court.’”

Haensler added she plans to finish her associate degree next winter and transfer to a four-year school to study entrepreneurship.