Hannah Banko is an excellent basketball player. Next year, she’ll be playing in college somewhere.
In 2018, she ended up on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
To be specific, she made the Not Top 10 – which is not the place most high school girls would want to be.
“I just lost my balance,” says Banko, now a senior at SkyView Academy in Highlands Ranch. “I thought she was going to shoot it before I fell. So, I just [tried to hang in there].”
She fell at the free throw line and ended up with Keith Olbermann making jokes at her expense.
The video went viral.
“I gained a lot of followers, a lot of people added me on snapchat,” says Banko. “Teachers were showing it in classes so everyone would run up to me at school and obviously my friends would make jokes.”
Many high school girls would be mortified, but not Hannah, she responded with laughter.
“I looked into the stands and our boys’ team was kind of re-enacting that so that kind of made me laugh,” says Banko. "I’m ok with being laughed at because I laugh at myself all the time.”
That’s how I’d hope someone in Hannah’s situation would be able to maintain perspective. But not everyone understood her reaction.
“I got a note from someone saying ‘Are you ok? Are you being bullied in any way?’ and I said oh no I make fun of myself so much, I’m completely fine with it. I like making people laugh.”
Finding the funny helped Hannah embrace the moment, and It's also fueling her college essays.
“We had to write about something we believe in,” says Banko. “I said I believe laughter has power. If I hadn't been able to laugh at that I just would have been like I'm so embarrassed, how awkward."
She created a moment that will live forever at SkyView.
“That was probably one of the highlights of that season just because we laughed so much and made so many jokes,” says Banko.
And she learned a life lesson that will take her further than standing at any free throw line ever could.