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Hannah Hidalgo

Latina Athlete of the Year: Hannah Hidalgo

Notre Dame's Hannah Hidalgo takes the ACC by storm

Not a week goes by without Hannah Hidalgo providing a major highlight for Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark may be the face of college women’s basketball, but Hidalgo is emerging as the future of women’s basketball.

Ten games into her freshman season, Hidalgo is already rated by ESPN as the 10th best player in women’s college basketball. She was ranked one spot ahead of LSU’s Angel Reese.

The 5-foot-6 guard is a true superstar with a flair on the court. In a year that saw three Latinas earn spots on the U.S. women’s soccer team’s FIFA Women’s World Cup squad, a basketball phenom is Our Esquina’s Latina Athlete of the Year. 

Hannah Hidalgo edged out another young phenom, Alyssa Thompson, the 19-year-old Peruvian-American forward member of the U.S. Women’s national team.

Hannah Hidalgo edges out Alyssa Thompson

It’s no surprise to see Latinas excel in basketball. Argentine American Diana Taurasi, after all, is arguably the greatest player in WNBA history. Latinas haven’t played as much of a pivotal role for the U.S. women’s national soccer team.

But the U.S. women’s national soccer team had three Latinas on its World Cup roster for the first time in 2023. Thompson was joined by Ashley Sanchez and Sofia Huerta.

Thompson made history this year as the youngest player ever drafted in the National Women’s Soccer League draft. She was 18 years old as the first overall pick of the draft by Angel City FC.

On the East Coast, Hidalgo made a name for herself as one of the best high school girls basketball players before signing with Notre Dame.

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The Haddonfield, N.J., native, has had an explosive year with USA basketball and Notre Dame. Hidalgo was named the 2023 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year. She guided the USA Under-19 national team to a gold medal at the 2023 FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup in Madrid. 

She averaged 10.7 points per game in the tournament. Hidalgo averaged a team-high 5.4 assists while finishing second in points per game. She added 3.4 rebounds a game. 

Hidalgo’s tear on the court has carried over with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. She has been a great addition to the starting five. Hidalgo has already been named the ACC Rookie of the Week four times.

Early statement against South Carolina

She is only the second Notre Dame athlete in history to earn the ACC Rookie and Player of the Week accolades in the same week.  Her exceptional start to her college career is a major reason that Notre Dame is 9-1 and ranked No. 14 in the nation. Hidalgo is averaging 23.8 points a game for the Fighting Irish.

She recorded 31 points in her first game of the season against powerhouse South Carolina, the team currently ranked No. 1 in the country. 

Hidalgo’s offensive production has taken the world by storm. Her defense does not lack behind, though. In her first four collegiate games, she tallied 27 steals, which are the most by a Division I player in their first four games since 1998.

Hidalgo had the first double-double of her career on Dec. 17 against Purdue with 23 points and 10 rebounds. A game later, she had the first triple double of her career on Thursday against Western Michigan.

Hidalgo’s all-around resume was truly worthy of all the honors she has received. She was the 2023 Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year. Hidalgo stole the show at the McDonald’s All-American Game. She scored a record 26 points and added eight steals to earn the co-MVP Award.

Her overall resume between high school, the international stage and college make her a clear choice as Our Esquina’s Latina Athlete of the Year.

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