At 32, Windy City’s Stefhon Hannah still in the game
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Through everything, Windy City Bulls guard Stefhon Hannah is still a basketball player. And he’s been through a lot.
A former star at Hyde Park Career Academy, Hannah was the 2007 Big 12 newcomer of the year at Missouri after transferring from Chipola Community College. The next season, Hannah was involved in an incident at a nightclub that eventually led to his dismissal from school and misdemeanor criminal charges. Since going undrafted in 2008, Hannah’s played all over the world professionally and bounced around NBA development teams, though never playing in a regular-season NBA game.
But save for appearances in The Basketball Tournament and FIBA 3 on 3 events, Hannah didn’t play much between his second stint with Polish team AZS Koszalin that ended in the spring of 2016 and this winter. Because soon after coming home, that April Hannah went to a bar with a friend who was shot to death.
“It was mental, me trying to get over that,” Hannah said. “Trying to get back to loving basketball was kind of tough for me because he was like a brother.”
Now Hannah, 32, is back on a team after Windy City claimed him from the player pool on Jan. 26. Playing for Windy City is the latest step in a journey for Hannah that’s had its negatives, but also accomplishments like longevity and a 2011 D-League title with the Iowa Energy.
“It’s been an up-and-down battle,” Hannah said of his career. “Trying to deal with trying to make it to the NBA still and going overseas away from your family and things like that. It’s tough.”
Hannah has been in NBA camps, and appeared in a preseason game with the Bulls in 2015 before getting waived prior to the start of the season. Other than a chance to play in the NBA, staying in one place and building some level of professional stability has also eluded Hannah.
Yet he knows he can’t allow that to negatively affect his game.
“It’s been tough. Just trying to be focused on what I’ve got to take care of,” Hannah said. “I’ve got kids. They look up to me. They’re trying to play ball so I’ve just got to show them never quit. Never settle for less. Do whatever you put your mind to.”
The Wolves will hold an outdoor practice from 3-4 p.m. Sunday at Parkway Bank Park in Rosemont. Admission is free, and fans can join players on the ice for a skate at 3:40 p.m.
Follow me on Twitter @BrianSandalow