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Brotherly love - and competition

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  • (L-R): Alan's father Jason Hanna, Alan Hanna and Maize High jumps coach Jared Handy. (Photo: Zoey Franklin)
    (L-R): Alan's father Jason Hanna, Alan Hanna and Maize High jumps coach Jared Handy. (Photo: Zoey Franklin)

Special to Kansas Pregame

Brotherly love prevails here in the Hanna household, but make no mistake. Competition between Jacob and younger brother Alan fuels an inferno that can be seen for miles.

“As a brother, he's the closest to age to me so I think I can relate to him,” Alan said. “It’s like that older brother/younger brother relationship where I can say yeah I’m better than you and we can go outside and play it out.”

“As a brother, he's real chill,” Jacob said. “We can talk trash to each other about sports and what not, but we both support each other and like a lot of the same things. Whenever we work out together, we try to push each other. That’s my guy.”

The Hanna Brothers were both champions in high jump for their respective conference meets last month. Alan also won regionals and state to put an exclamation point on his junior campaign at Maize High.

“I still have that winning high right now, it feels unreal,” Alan said after winning 6A with a 6-10 clearance at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium. 

Manhattan High jumper Aaron Newcomer made things interesting, though.

“Newcomer had just made 6-8 on his third attempt so I was thinking I have to get this big,” Alan said. “I had about two inches of clearance and I was so excited because I had just won.”

Jacob received a text moments later.

“Just happy to see his success. I know how hard he works and does rehab and basketball and school on top of it,” he said. “Feels good to end up on top after it all.”

Alan’s junior year was capped in a matter of two weeks by jumping 7-foot at league and his gold at state.

“This year has definitely been my best year so far with making 7-feet and winning state,” Alan said.

Jacob, who just completed his junior year at DII Illinois-Springfield, also bagged a conference high jump gold in the Great Lakes Valley Conference meet when he cleared 6-7.

He also doubled in basketball for the Prairie Stars.

“My freshman year was definitely an adjustment, I didn't play as much basketball and I didn’t jump,” he said. “My sophomore year I started every game and we won the most games in DII school history with 19 wins and was on the all-defensive team. I came back to high jump but ended up fourth at the conference meet. This year I had my best year personally averaged 15 (points) and 7 (rebounds), second team all-conference, all-defensive team again and we won 18 games. I had the best hj mark in the conference and finished winning it this year so it was a success.”

He’s returned to Kansas for his final year of college as he transferred to Washburn.

“Washburn has been building something special in talent and people,” Jacob said. “After going on a visit it was an easy choice. And it means closer to family, more support and being around more familiar friends and places. Im excited for hopefully a successful year.”

“We’re excited for him to get here,” Washburn incoming sophomore Tyson Ruud, a 7-foot high jumper at Basehor-Linwood and now playing basketball for the Ichabods, said. “His athleticism and competitiveness should really complement the way we play. Good guy too.”

“As a basketball player, he is the most competitive, like he's always in the gym always getting better,” Alan said. “You can't say nothing around him or else he's gonna take it to heart and use that to fuel himself.”

He has one year of eligibility at Washburn. The Ichabods, he said, are getting a winner.

“I do whatever it takes to win and get the job done whatever the situation,” he said.

The 6-foot-3, 181-pound elder Hanna has reminded his younger brother what he accomplished as a senior at Maize. 

“I won (state) in high jump, 300 hurdles and state basketball my senior year,” he said. “So we'll see if he can end up with more than three in his last year at Maize, hoping he can.”

“Football and basketball both lost in sub-state championship,” Alan said of Maize’s run this past year. “Very good year for both. We were rebuilding off of last year in football getting second in state but all around great year.”

But the respect each has for the other is as clear as ever. It’s as smooth as their escalation over the high jump bar.

“As a jumper, he's dedicated and competitive. He keeps it fun and laid back and doesn't let all the hype get to his head or anything,” Jacob said. “He's just trying to win and take care of business.”

“He's the one I look up to like that stepping stone he put down for  me and my brothers and sister before him,” Alan said. “All of them helped me get to where I’m at. He’s just really that one person I always want to beat all the time.”