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College Bound!

Hanf signs with Emporia, Karr to K-State

Although practice doesn’t start till Monday, the Paola Panthers Girls Basketball team took center state Wednesday afternoon as two of its stars inked college letters of intent and officially committed to play at the next level next year.

Rachel Hanf and Taelor Karr made official what both of them had known in their hearts for some time, signing to accept spots on the Emporia State Hornet and Kansas State Wildcat womens basketball teams.

For both earlier was better than later to sign. “I just wanted to get it out of the way,” said Hanf as she officially became an Emporia State Hornet. “I didn’t need to wait any longer.”

It was much the same for Karr as she inked a spot on the defending Big XII Champion K-State Wildcat roster.

“I had my decision made for a long time,” she said. “I wanted to get it over with before the season, get it off my shoulders.”

Both Karr and Hanf said they were pleased to have this part of their senior season out of the way, freeing them from the individual focus of a school to play for next year and giving them the ability to focus on team goals.

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Taelor Karr (left) and Rachel Hanf (right) are all smiles after inking college basketball letters of intent on Wednesday. Karr will join the Big XII Champion Kansas State University Wildcats next year and Hanf will become an Emporia State University Hornet. Karr and Hanf are joined by members of the Paola High School Girls Basketball team who were on hand to watch the two seniors sign their letters of intent.

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“Now we won’t have to focus on our individual goals,” Hanf said. “We can focus on helping the team achieve its goals for the season.”

Another person excited for the signing was K-State Head Coach Deb Patterson.

“We’re very excited to have Taelor as a K-State Wildcat,” Patterson said. “She’s a gritty, tough competitor, who has a huge distaste for losing and is always trying to find a way to win.”

Patterson spoke of Karr’s abilities both on and off the basketball court, citing her work ethic as a student, individual and player.

“She has demonstrated a great work ethic,” Patterson continued. “She is very dedicated in the classroom, which is evidenced by her being one of the top students in her class.”

“She has tremendous character as a person,” she said. “She has a commitment to excellence as a person, student and teammate.”

Patterson said that Karr will have the chance to make her presence felt immediately when she arrives at K-State, by helping the perimeter game of the Wildcats.

“Taelor is a very good shooter, both a jump shooter and a 3-pt shooter,” Patterson said. “She has a solid perimeter game, but has the ability to go inside and take the ball to the rim.”

Both Hanf and Karr were excited and grateful by the turn-out to watch them sign their letters, and a good crowd of students, faculty, family and friends gathered in the PHS commons area for the ceremonies.

“It’s pretty awesome to have that much support,” Karr said. “They all need to keep coming out and supporting us through the season.

Taelor is the daughter of Mark and Toni Bradley and John and Lisa Karr. Rachel is the daughter of Scott and the late Deb Hanf.

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Karr and Hanf were joined by Paola Panther Head Basketball Coach Stuart Ross (left) and former head coach Richard Ebel (right).

"I was ready
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