v Faces in KS: Ehlaina Hartman - Sports in Kansas
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Faces in KS: Ehlaina Hartman

Ehlaina Hartman of Spearville is having a huge senior year. (photo: Dana Rich)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Mar 2, 2020

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Spearville, located in Western Kansas around 20 minutes from Dodge City, has a population of just 773 people in its town. The town has no shortage of successful sports as of recent with a state football title a few years ago in 8-man, then ranked #1 in the country for 8-man football, state baseball a couple years back and state volleyball runner-up this past fall. It’s also the hometown of NBA player Willie Cauley-Stein.

The success continues in Spearville this winter as they feature one of the top 2A girls’ basketball teams in the state of Kansas and a big reason for that is senior star multiple sport athlete Ehlaina Hartman.

Hartman, a 6-foot-0, senior, is one of the top multiple sport athletes at any level in Kansas. In the fall, she was the 2A Volleyball Player of the Year. While Hartman is one of the states elite volleyball player, basketball is where she will play at the next level for Emporia State University. Basketball, she is just as elite as a three-time all-state selection for the Royal Lancers. She is averaging 20.7 points per game, 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.5 assists and 1.3 blocks per contest this season for the undefeated Spearville team (20-0). Hartman has averaged at least 14 points per game in all four years of high school basketball as a four year starter and went over 1,000 career points earlier this season.

There is no off-season for the small-town star, Hartman, who also competes in track and field, being a state qualifier in the javelin and sprints. Hartman also plays softball for the high school. Hartman is long with her height (6'0") and wingspan (73-inches) and very athletic. She features a 32-inch vertical and has state sprinter speed at 6-foot-0 in height, a rare combination. She is also a member of Wheat State Elite Basketball, one of the top club basketball teams in Kansas ran by Dylan Evans. WSE has helped several small-town stars across Kansas the last few seasons reach the collegiate level with exposure of playing all over the place. She's also a 3.8 GPA student at Spearville High School. 

Its not just Hartman either on this very solid 2A girls’ basketball team. Alissa Heskamp is one of the top point guards in 2A basketball. She is also a lock down defender and pushes the the pace of the game for the 2A #1 ranked Royal Lancers. Spearville also returned Brianna Ede as a starter from last season. 

For now, all eyes are set on getting to a state tournament and competing for a 2A state title. Spearville, led by head coach Andrew Kempke, opens Class 2A sub-state play on Monday at home against Leoti-Wichita County (1-18) in the one versus eight matchup in the first round.

We caught up with the multiple sport all-state selection below in the latest Faces in Kansas Q&A

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This feature is presented by Wheat State Elite. WSE and founder/owner, Dylan Evans, are proud supporters of high school basketball in the state of Kansas. 

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Q&A w/ Hartman

How did you get involved in basketball and sports?

I started playing rec sports in kindergarten.  Then moved into MAYB Basketball my 7th grade year, followed that with AAU Ball starting my freshman year. If it wasn’t for my dad, I would not be in the position I am now. All the times he encouraged me to go work on my shot or dibbling, all the hours he spent with me in the gym to get my form just right, all the times he didn’t sugar coat my games and made me strive to be better all around player. Even in other sports he always told me to go out there and show them I came to play and won’t go down without giving everything I have. His constant encouragement and even his nagging have helped me in so many ways in all my sports.

What are your goals this season?

My personal goal this season was to finish with people remembering my name and to grow as an overall player, my team goal is to go and get ourselves a state ring.

Do you guys have a shot to make a run this year?

Yes, I believe we have an amazing chance this year we are currently 20-0 and ranked #1 in Class 2A.

What makes you such a force as a player?

I think what makes me a force player is that I am not one dimensional. I can shoot, I can drive, I can play as a post, or play as a guard. I can see the floor very well and pass to whoever can get a bucket because I do not care who scores as long as we win the game. I am very long, fast, and can jump high which helps in offensive an defensive rebounding.

What’s the atmosphere like to play for your school and town?

I have a lot of support from the Community. Its always nice to look in the crowd and see familiar faces at home games and away games.

For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one?

They should come watch us play because when we work as a team and not individuals our whole game runs smooth. We have the energy and the grit to work for anything and everything we get. It’s not just one person that wins our games, everyone contributes in one way or another. It’s always fun to watch us go on our runs against teams and never back down.

Who are other key players on your team?

Alissa Heskamp is a great point guard; she is very good with her hands on the defensive side with her deflections and steals. She helps push the ball up the floor during transitions for easy buckets and can see the floor very well.

Favorite thing about Basketball?

My favorite thing about basketball is the adrenaline rush and nerves I get before games. I also love when all the hard work either I or my team has put in, pays off.

Do you play any other sports, tell us about that, what other positions do you play?

I am a multi-sport athlete. I have been fortunate enough to make it state in each sport.  In volleyball I play right side hitter, left side blocker. For softball I play Center Field. For track I participate in the 100 yard dash, 200 yard dash, 4 x 100 Relay and Javelin.  Being able to play in all of these sports is a blessing and I’m so thankful I’m not limited to just one.  

What is it like to play for your coach?

My coach has had me play every position on the floor and has allowed me to go up at night to shoot or work on my game. To play for my coach has been great, but to me my dad has been my coach more than anyone. He critiques my games and helps me get better for the next one. He is always finding ways to help me succeed.

What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?

As for me I have played for two AAU basketball teams for the past four summers. WSE was especially helpful in sharpening my skills and getting my name out there. They gave great one-on-one workouts specialized for each player with top notch coaches. My school team participates in many MAYB or summer league tournaments around our area to keep in rhythm of the game.

What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?

I am planning on majoring in General Psychology and completing my masters.

Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?

My favorite thing to do when I’m not playing sports is to just be around my family and friends, or hunting with my dad.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I really haven’t looked as far as the next 10 years, I have mainly been focused on the next four.

Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?

My favorite subject in school is English. I am a majority A student with maybe one or two B’s. My GPA is at a 3.8

Who is your role model?

The person I look up to most would be my mom. She has one of the best work ethics I’ve ever seen someone have. She never lets someone tell her what she can and can’t do and that’s something that has helped me grow as a person and athlete. She pushes me and encourages me to show the world what I can do and never lets me doubt myself or my abilities. She has always been my number one fan.

Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?

To me the best place around us to eat is probably El Rodeo which is an amazing Mexican Restaurant on Wyatt Earp in Dodge City. My family will most likely disagree with me.

One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?

One thing I don’t think most people know about me is I am an insecure person. Yes I am outgoing and many people know me, but they mostly see the competitive athlete side of me not the relaxed at home side.

Anything else to add?

One thing I would like to mention is that I have two little sisters who I strive to be a role model for. I always try to push them in anything and everything they do whether it’s sports, dance, or singing. They have always came to my games, spent many hours watching me and all I want to do is return the favor and let them know how much I appreciate them. They are great young athletes and I cannot wait to see them excel in whatever they put their minds too.


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