Hershey senior Ashley Hassett accepted a basketball scholarship from North Platte Community College and signed her letter of intent on Mar. 5.

Hassett expressed interest in NPCC halfway through the season.

“They started talking to me right around then,” Hassett said.

NPCC coach Jeff Thurman said Hassett is exactly what they are looking for in a student-athlete.

“She will bring quite a bit to our program,” he said. “Ashley is a very talented basketball player, but what is most important, she is an amazing individual with high character.”

Hassett received several offers but decided on the Lady Knights.

“I chose NPCC because of the coach,” she said. “He was really into getting me to come and he is a really great coach. and talked to me a lot about the program.”

She has some lofty goals and wants to do whatever she can to make the program successful.

“I hope I can become their leading scorer like I have been in high school and be able to help with rebounding and defense,” Hassett said. “The most exciting part is getting to play with a new bunch of new girls who want to play hard.”

Thurman expects her to play multiple positions.

“She has been our main recruiting target since day one,” he said. “She is a great local talent that we wanted to keep around here for two years. She is an outstanding community member, high achieving student in the classroom and phenomenal on the floor. You couldn’t ask for anything more. We are extremely happy and excited for her to join our women’s basketball program.”

Hershey coach Michael Jorgenson said NPCC added a great player.

“She will be a great asset for him and it’s exciting that the community of Hershey will be able to continue to follow and support her and her Lady Knights teammates at McDonald Belton Gymnasium next season,” he said. “I’d love to see her make an immediate impact at the college level. I think Coach Thurman will be effective in helping her maximize her strengths and talents.”

Looking back on her senior year, Jorgenson noted that her elbow injury that occurred during the second game of the season did not prevent her from being a great teammate during her absence on the court.

“Off the court she continued to motivate and support everyone at practices and games. She spent six weeks healing her dislocated and fractured elbow but she never stopped leading the team, bringing passion and energy to her Lady Panther basketball family. That positive attitude and desire to win will help add to the culture that Coach Thurman wants to build at NPCC.”

Hassett has participated on Hershey basketball, track and volleyball teams ever since junior high school. She was a state qualifier in hurdles the last two years and hopes to make it to the state track meet again this spring.

She wants to become a vet-technician.

“I will get my basics here and then continue my education somewhere and hopefully get more opportunities to play ball,” she said.

Hassett thanked her coaches and family.

“My parents always helped and supported me as well as all of my coaches including those clear back in elementary school,” she said

Hassett is the daughter of James and Cathy Hassett. She has a younger sister, Abby.