Following a tryout period two weeks ago in Maryland, rising sophomore Hannah Neild (Litchfield, N.H.) of the Merrimack College women’s basketball team earned a spot on the United States national team ahead of the 2017 Deaflympics, which will be played next summer in Samsun, Turkey.
Neild’s national team duties will resume next summer, when training camp begins for the Olympics that run from July 18-30. The wing player returns to campus this fall as the Warriors top three-point threat from a year ago, hitting over 34 percent of her attempts during her rookie campaign.
“The opportunity to try out and play for this team was much more than I could ever have imagined. It was a major culture shock and wake-up call to walk into a gym with players you could not communicate with because you could not speak their language (American Sign Language),” Neild stated. “Although it was very hard, the experience was extremely rewarding and I can’t wait to see what the future of this team brings.”
Neild, who cannot hear without hearing aids, arrived on campus last season and appeared in all 27 games for the Navy and Gold. Twenty-nine of her 62 field goals on the season came from distance, making the most on the team. She scored in double figures on three occasions, averaging 6.4 points per game.
The Litchfield native was featured in the Eagle Tribune this past year, detailing the adversity of her hearing loss.