Surrounded by teammates and family, Mingus Union High School girls soccer senior Auli Hanks signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Salem International University on March 8.
Hanks recently changed her commitment, having originally committed to NCAA Division III Beloit College, when she learned that she was receiving a full-ride athletic scholarship from the NCAA Division II Tigers. Division III teams do not offer athletic scholarships.
“It’s definitely exciting, I didn’t think I was going to get something,” Hanks said. “I thought I’d go to a community college or something like that.”
The striker said that she had been texting and talking over the phone with coach Kennedy Kabiru, and once her FAFSA information was processed, was offered the full ride. Hanks did not expect the full ride, but rather a partial and then would have to take out student loans.
“I’m really excited and she deserves it, I’m really glad that she’s going to be still playing soccer, because she loves soccer,” Mingus coach Andrea Strobel said.
Strobel highlighted what Auli will bring to the next level.
“I’ll tell you it really is her drive and just her willingness to put 100 percent all the time, that just is something that people around her feel and it brings their level of play up,” Strobel said.
The 2017 Second Team All-Grand Canyon Region selection has not visited the campus, located in Salem, W.V., but has been in contact with players from the team. She plans to visit either during spring break or summer.
“I’ve talked to the coach and he’s super excited to have me,” Hanks said. “But he still said there’s going to be competition on the team, which I like, too.”