All still quiet on the Western Front for Hackney


Ms. Basketball award winner Kendall Hackney finished off her career with a fourth state title (Photo by Gary Housteau)

Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame power forward Kendall Hackney, who earned Ms. Basketball honors and the Ohio High magazine player of the year
award, is still waiting to receive an official release for her letter of intent
to USC after requesting the waiver nearly two weeks ago. We caught up with Hackney this afternoon and MND head coach Dante Harlan for the latest.

Former Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame power forward Kendall Hackney was
the top girls cager in Ohio
last season but now she is playing the waiting game.

Hackney, who earned Ms. Basketball honors and the Ohio High magazine player of the year
, is still waiting to receive an official release from her letter of intent
to play basketball for USC after requesting the waiver nearly two weeks ago.

“I should be hearing back from them soon if not today,”
Hackney said early Tuesday afternoon. “I talked to a (USC) coach yesterday and he
said I could have heard from them either yesterday or today so they will either
call him back or call me to confirm the waiver. Hopefully that will be as soon
as possible.”

Hackney, who lead MND (27-1) to an unprecedented fourth
straight Division I state championship in March with 13.3 points per game,
requested the release after former head Mark Trakh resigned in April after five
years at the helm.

“When I was being recruited I knew USC was where I really
wanted to go and it was my top and only choice,” said Hackney. “We had an awesome
relationship (with the coaches) and then I visited the school and I fell in
love with it. I knew that is where I wanted to go. It was a perfect fit.

“Now, it has completely changed for me. That was a big let
down but we are just trying to take it one step at a time and be patient with
the process. I am not worried and thankfully I have been left with options and
I won’t be left out.”

USC agreed to a partial release so Hackney can explore other
options and she will be permitted to start the recruiting process all over once
she is granted the full release.

“(Associate head coach Ervin Monier) wants her to go through
the process and protect USC throughout the process meaning if she doesn’t find
a school that she isn’t truly interested in, he doesn’t really want to let her
go,” MND head coach Dante Harlan said.

USC wasn’t going to consider the release initially,
according to Harlan.

“(Monier) and I had spoke prior and he didn’t want to give
her a full release. I told him there will be no making
amends and she will not be on the campus at USC this fall,” Harlan explained. “Things have changed
and the reasons she wanted to go there have changed. She built a relationship
with (the former coaching staff) over the last three years. It changed and it
changed a lot. It is just a different scenario now.”

Schools have contacted Harlan to inquire about the pending
release but due to NCAA rules and regulations that is as far as those programs
can proceed until the release is finalized.

“There are schools that have called that are interested but
they don’t want to step on any toes or break any rules or cause any
violations,” said Harlan. “There is a lot of interest there but nobody is
stepping to the forefront until the full release has been granted. She has
schools that she likes but we haven’t been able to have a lot communication
right now.

“We’re hoping we get the paperwork so we can start
contacting people. That is what we are waiting on is for us to get the word and
that is when the phone calls are really going to come in after the release has
come in and she has opened up her recruiting.

“It is just a lot of red tape right now. Until we get that
paperwork, we can’t proceed.”

Hackney, who is rated as the No. 11 power forward in the
country by and No. 55 player overall for the 2009 recruiting class,
received major interest from Purdue, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Arizona State and
Florida among others before committing to USC.

While her options are wide open now, Hackney said she has
been taking the whole situation in stride.

“It is not as stressful as I thought it would be,” she said.
“I have been fairly calm throughout the whole process and I thought I would be
really upset but I am okay.

“Everyone is being supportive. It is fine. It is just a
little hectic.”


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