Player Profile: Rachel Hakes (2018)
Rachel Hakes, Woodbury 5-10 shooting guard, recently committed to Fairfield, a D1 university in Fairfield, CT, where she will join Minnesotans Erika Schlosser (Eastview 2016) and Eden Nibbelink (Winona 2017). Brett Boese wrote a profile of Rachel last fall…
Rachel Hakes, Woodbury 5-10 shooting guard, recently committed to Fairfield, a D1 university in Fairfield, CT, where she will join Minnesotans Erika Schlosser (Eastview 2016) and Eden Nibbelink (Winona 2017). Brett Boese wrote a profile of Rachel last fall which we commend again to your attention.
Your opinion of Woodbury guard Rachel Hakes might depend on when you've watched her play.
In the winter, she poured in 14 PPG as the team's leading scorer. Suiting up for the Metro Stars last summer, she wasn't particularly aggressive looking to score while focusing more on the little things. Either way, her calling card is obvious — defense — and I'm quite sure she finishes every game with the most floor burns.
I especially enjoyed watching Hakes and Champlin Park's Amanda Pollard work together at the guard spots during the AAU season. Both are strong, quick defenders and they caused all sorts of problems for opponents.
We've got Hakes, an athletic 5-7 guard, pegged as the #43 prospect in our Class of 2018 rankings. Pollard was one of our biggest risers, jumping up to #73 from #142, if you were curious.
UPDATE: I've just been informed that Rachel now stands 5-11 after a significant growth spurt. Yeah, she'll be rising up our ranking next update.
Still, it's possible we're not high enough on the Woodbury star. Hakes says she's been in contact with a number of Division I programs already, but remains open and uncommitted. If you're a scholarship program in need of a team-first scrapper who can also score, get her on your list — especially if you've got strong academics.
Here's what Hakes had to say during a recent Q&A with NGH.
Q & A
Northstar: You're one of my favorite players to watch work on the defensive end. It seems like you really take a lot of pride in that part of your game and want to lead the team in floor burns. Where does that mentality come from?
Hakes: Over the years I have come to love the defensive aspect of the game more and more. I have always had an innate competitiveness and intensity that drives me to want to make the other team look bad. It is so rewarding to shut the offense down, get stop after stop and see the frustration in your competitors face. Although great defense and floor burns do not show up on the stat sheet it is such a vital part of the game. All of the coaches that I have ever had have stressed the importance of defense and made it clear that solid defense directly translates into more minutes on the floor. You can be a prolific scorer but if you cannot get a stop on defense, how valuable are you? I just try to make the most out of every possession and help my team in any way I can.
Northstar: You spent the summer with the Metro Stars. What's the biggest thing you learned? Did you have a favorite moment?
Hakes: One of the most valuable lessons I have learned through AAU is how to put the team first. All of my teammates are key players on their respective high school teams but Ellen has taught us how to work together and discard an individual mindset. We all still look to score but favor ball movement that leads to a good look over a forced shot or drive. One of my favorite off-court moments was going go-karting with the team in Texas and Tennessee.
Northstar: You averaged 14 PPG last year at Woodbury, but seemed content to facilitate and play defense over the summer. How would you describe your strengths and what do you still need to improve?
Hakes: I always want to embrace the role I am given and help the team in any way I can. My high school and AAU roles differ but I believe that only makes me a more knowledgeable and versatile player. Currently I am working on creating my own shot off the dribble – developing a solid pull-up jumper with quick footwork. My strengths include relentless defense, good court vision, leadership and the ability to hit the shot, finish at the hoop or create for my teammates.
Northstar: You're a Top 50 prospect in our Class of 2018 rankings. What schools have you heard from so far? What sort of things are most important to you as you consider a collegiate career two years from now?
Hakes: I am talking to multiple D1 schools, mostly in the Midwest. I only want to attend a school that is renowned for its academic rigor. Once being a basketball player is no longer an option, I want to have a degree that I am passionate about and will set me up for success.
Northstar: You helped Woodbury get off to a 6-1 start last year, but then the wheels fell off right after I watched you play in Rochester. What are expectations like coming off that 11-16 season? Are there any games that are circled on your calendar?
Hakes: I have high expectations coming into the 2016-2017 high school season. We have such a strong senior class and an experienced team. Defense is our forte. I am not sure if I am overly excited for a certain game but am just excited to get back on the floor and compete. Most teams in our conference return their core groups, except for White Bear Lake, however they always have young players ready to step up. We consistently have great battles with them. It will be interesting to see which team separates itself from the others. Also, we have a strong non-conference schedule including Hopkins, Apple Valley and Anoka.
Northstar: Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions before you get out on the court?
Hakes: I am not a very superstitious person but I usually eat, come to the gym early, shoot around, watch JV, eat, go to the locker room and then stretch before high school games.