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NCAA clears Hacker#8217;s move to play for Lady Herd

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Sara Hacker is making two moves: up and back.

Hacker, the former All-Ohio basketball standout for the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers, has moved closer to home and stepped up from Division II to Division I after transferring from Glenville State to Marshall.

The Ironton girls’ second all-time leading scorer who helped the Lady Tigers to the state tournament in 2005 said she just felt she would be more comfortable at Marshall.

“Girls there I played AAU with and I liked the atmosphere at Marshall and I liked being closer to home,” Hacker said. “All I wanted was a chance and I got it.”

The 6-foot-1 Hacker had to wait for clearance by the two schools and the NCAA to become eligible to practice with Marshall starting Jan. 8 when classes resume.

“It won’t be that bad. It’ll give me more time to get in shape and gear up for what I need to do,” Hacker said. “I’ve got January and February to prove I deserve a scholarship. Only time will tell.”

Hacker said Lady Herd coach Royce Chadwick didn’t make any promises, but he did give her some advice.

“He told me to come in top shape and be ready for whatever. He told me it won’t be easy since I’m not on scholarship. He said to be humble and scrap and go after any loose ball,” Hacker said.

Between now and Jan. 8 Marshall plays at Niagara on Thursday, at Richmond Dec. 28, and at East Carolina Jan. 2 before returning home to face Central Florida on Jan. 5 and Southern Miss on Jan. 7.

Hacker doesn’t expect to see playing time right away.

“It’s going to take time to get used to the system and going from D-2 to D-1. I’m not expecting too much right now. I just want to get down the offense,” Hacker said.

“They’re looking for a shooting guard. Really, he just wanted to see what kind of a hard worker I am. He said it was all in my hands if I win a scholarship or not.”

During her waiting period, Hacker has spent time running, lifting weights and getting instructional help from Ty Barnes. She said her parents, Mike and Carol Hacker, have been instrumental in the transition.

“I have to thank my mom and dad for making this possible and allowing me to do this. They’ve helped me with all my paperwork and keeping my head on straight,” she said.

“I’m working on my basketball skills with Ty Barnes. He’s helped me a lot.”