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February 5, 2014

Hart goes with her heart

If the powers-that-be in the Cal Poly Pomona athletics department play it smart, they will have Scotts Valley High's Nadene Hart front and center on any sports promotional material because she is certainly an effusive Bronco booster.

The 6-foot-1 Hart just committed to the Broncos (she can't sign until April), a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) member, and is pining to get down south as soon as is possible. As she said, "I can't explain how excited I am. I want to move there as soon as possible."

Her attraction?

"I could go on forever about all the things I love about Pomona," Harrt explained. "The team is incredibly talented and the coaches care very much about their players on and off the court. They reached them to the core, it's an incredible interaction. The players have such positive things to say about the coaches. It's also a school with high academics so it's perfect for me."

She added, "Pomona has also won five national championships" (at the DII level - in 1982, 1985, 1986, 2001 and 2002). The head coach is Danelle Bishop and her squad is currently ranked #14 in the country.

The commitment also means family and friends will be able to catch Hart in action since the CCAA also includes Sonoma State, Chico State, Cal State Stanislaus, San Francisco State, Cal State East Bay and Cal State Monterey Bay.

"My Dad has been there every step of the way," Hart offered. Jim Hart is her coach at Scotts Valley and also in pre-high school days. "It's important that he come and see me when I play." Fortunately, the Ontario Airport is situated just 12 miles from Pomona.

As for hoops influences, Hart said, "my Dad first put the idea out there of playing a sport you love. He spent countless dollars and time teaching and coaching me. I learned from him that two hours of practice isn't enough and I get my work ethic and goal planning from him."

Hart related that after signing, her father said, "I'm so proud of you, I couldn't be more happy. Now set a new goal and keep pushing yourself."

Jim Hart played at Fresno State and Nevada, after being a prolific scorer at Harbor High in Santa Cruz County (2,077 career points). The younger Hart's mother also played at Fresno State (both parents played overseas), her sister participated in basketball at Pacific, and, on one side of the family, her grandfather coached. A word of warning to the obvious impaired: do not take on the Family Hart in a pickup game.

The 2012-13 All Santa Cruz County Athletic League selection also recently surpassed the 1,000 point mark and earlier this season moved past the 1,000 rebound level. This is her talking about her game: "I have a really consistent midrange jumper. From 15-feet in, I can hit 9-10. It's a lost art and I pride myself on my midrange game. I also have the ability to run the floor and I can guard a guard or play on the block so I'm versatile."

She definitely sees an evolution in her game, a burgeoning basketball IQ which is something she credits her coaches.

"I have been privileged to play for fantastic coaches who teach that and they were constantly reinforcing 'see the floor, see your teammates.'" Hart specifically mentioned Wade Nakamura, the current coach at Presentation High in San Jose, who was Hart's Metro San Jose Basketball AAU team coach in this regard.

She has seen her role go from from a supporting one to a big scorer. "I was a fantastic rebounder as a freshman and I had the mindset that this was my big contribution to the team. As I got older, I took on a leadership role and also realized the impact of prepping for a game and picked up my scoring and defense. An epiphany hit me: you put work in the game for yourself and for others."

Hart is expecting to major in business marketing and is looking into a minor in media psychology."


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