As a junior last season, Michala Hash was a pivotal component in Carroll County’s Region IV championship and run to the Group AA Semifinals in Richmond. This year, she is playing an even bigger role as she leads the team in scoring at 8.6 points per game.
Unlike many leading scorers, Hash doesn’t mind scrapping and hustling and getting dirty on the basketball court. In fact, after 15 games, she has drawn a whopping 21 charges. Also an academic standout, this week in Talking Trash, we find out what makes Hash, affectionately called “Trash Hash” by her PowerPuff football teammates, tick.
Michala, we’ve been told you have a 4.3 GPA, are right at the top of your class, and have made straight A’s your entire high school career except for one P.E./Driver’s Ed Class. Why are you better at driving the lane than driving a car? That is true. I’m not really sure why, I guess driving the lane comes more natural for me.
Is it true that you drive “way too fast?” That’s what a little birdie told us. Well, some people say I do but I don’t think so. I think they just drive slow and it makes me look like I’m going too fast when I pass them.
Tell us about your affection for pachyderms? Is it true you take an elephant pillow case with you to all away games? I have a huge obsession with elephants. I actually collect them. Mom says she doesn’t really know why I am so attached or how it even got started but I have loved them ever since I was little. I probably have around 1,000 elephants from over the years in the house. But yes I do carry a certain pillow that has a case with an elephant head, arms, and legs to all the away games. I have had that pillow since my preschool day, so I guess you can say it is a part of me.
Your dad can bench press over 400 pounds. In terms of talking trash, I guess you could honestly use the “My dad could beat up your dad,” line. At the same time, we’re guessing your parents never have to worry about a boy bringing you home past curfew, huh? Yeah, I could but I like taking up for myself. When I was taking fitness I was actually benching more than my dad did when he was my age, so I’m pretty positive I could handle things myself. And for a guy bringing me home late, I think they should worry about mom more than dad. She may be little but I would not want to make that woman mad.
Since you are a big North Carolina fan, we will ask you to do the opposite of what we asked Ryan Gravley last week. Complete the following sentence: Duke’s basketball program is better than North Carolina’s because… Well….Duke’s basketball program is better than North Carolina’s because they can shoot the three. I can give a little credit to Duke just because they have one of my favorite guys from Oak Hill, Quin Cook. And my boys have really struggled the past few years with shooting the three, and that is something Duke always does.
If Austin Horton is the king of taking charges, you have to be the queen, with 21 charges drawn after 15 games. Shouldn’t a talented scorer like yourself be more concerned about her own personal welfare on the basketball court? Yeah, I guess that would make me the queen. I don’t really think of it like that. I’m going to do whatever it takes to benefit my team, and if that means taking some hard hits so be it.
Why would your coaches and teammates call you “a little over dramatic?” They probably say that because I do. I get so caught up in the game I get a little dramatic at times. Every now and then I get too excited and yell at my teammates but I never mean it in a bad way. I just try to help and give advice but it usually just makes them mad at me.
Okay, we’ve picked at you enough, but hey, that’s our job here at Talking Trash. On a serious note, we understand you cut your hair for locks of love, volunteer for a lot of civic work, work part-time at Kidz World, and never talk negatively about teammates or coaches. Why do you have to make the rest of us look bad Michala? I do all of those things, but it doesn’t make me that great. I guess you can say I have been raised right thanks to mom and dad. But a big part of the way I am is because of my babysitter, Vivian Hess and her husband James Hess. They watched after me while my parents were at work everyday from birth till I started getting involved with school sports. They were strict and taught me right from wrong, and I am very grateful for that.
Aside from the charges, you take a lot of punishment on the basketball court. We understand you always have strawberries and scabs, and currently tape your own thumb before each game and practice. Where does your drive to play so hard and hit the floor for loose balls and the like come from? No pain, no gain. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t discover a new bruise, strawberry, or scratch. There is no explanation for it other than I guess I was born with it. My AAU coach always told me that you can teach a kid to dribble and shoot, but you can never teach a kid hustle or passion. He says it is something you’re born with.
Tell us why you are such a big fan of Oak Hill’s basketball program? I like Oak Hill so much because they have a great basketball program. It’s out in the middle of nowhere with just basketball, what more could ya ask for? And I really like it because they are people my age that I can be friends with. Although I haven’t enjoyed this year as much because my favorite class of seniors graduated last year, and that group had my best friend in it Jordan Adams.
How did it feel to exercise your right to vote this past November? It felt pretty great. I was the only person my age that I saw at the poles when I went. And standing in line listening to all the elderly tell stories of war and the right to vote was really touching. One little man walked by (on a cane and was slowly scooting) and said, “I’ll vote till the day I die, even if I have to crawl in here.”
Who is your favorite teacher and why? I like most of my teachers but I have had one all time favorite. She was my third grade teacher at Gladeville Elementary School and at the time her name was Ms. Erin Wills, but now she is known as Mrs. Erin Standstorm. She always made class fun and exciting. I loved her class so much and hated moving out of her class. To this day I still keep in touch and go visit her class from time to time.
What are your plans after high school? After high school I plan to attend a college in Tennessee and study Psychology and Social Work.
Who is your favorite athlete and why? I actually have two favorite athletes and they happen to be brothers. Tyler and Ben Hansbourgh have always inspired me. They are great athletes and great role models. I actually learned how to take the charge by watching Tyler play during his Carolina days.
How does it feel to be a senior leader on this year’s basketball team? I’m not really one of the main leaders but it’s definitely different. I have always been a back-up because ever since AAU days I have played with Lindsay, Rachel, and Emily, so having to be first this year is a big change. It has taken a lot of getting use to but I am making the adjustment well.
You are equally skilled in shooting from the outside and driving the lane. If you had to choose, would you rather drill a 3-pointer or drive the lane and get fouled for an old-fashioned three-point play? I don’t think it matters, scoring points any way always feels good. Although I can say getting the old fashion 3-point play takes a lot more work for me than shooting the three.
What was it like going to the Final Four last year and competing in the Group AA Semifinals in Richmond? It was amazing. I don’t even know how to describe it. All the love and support we got from our community was unbelievable. It will definitely be the most memorable moment of my basketball career.
How much damage do you think this year’s team can do in the postseason? I believe we can do as much damage as we set our minds to do. Coach Hodges always says, “You have to play to beat them by 30, not just to beat them.”
And finally, what is the funniest thing you have ever heard come out of Coach Motley’s mouth? Coach says a lot of funny things, especially when he tries to crack a joke. But by far the funniest thing coach said was before the Floyd game. We are in his office having our pregame discussion. He is going over our match ups and in all serious he goes, “You got kuchen-“butt”” We all died out laughing and he asked what was so funny, so we had to correct him on her name. He was trying to say Kuchenbuch, pronounced as “cookenbook.”