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Amani Hansberry Talks Quick Journey in Portal to West Virginia



Amani Hansberry

It has been a chaotic week for new Mountaineer forward Amani Hansberry. The 6-foot-8 Maryland native entered the transfer portal last Tuesday and committed to West Virginia by Sunday.

WVU HC Darian DeVries hired Illinois assistant Chester Frazier as his associate head coach. Hansberry, as well as teammate Sencire Harris, have a close connection with Frazier. Hansberry tells WV Sports Now that it was important to him to keep that relationship.

“It was in my best interest. Coach Frazier and I already have a relationship, he’s just always been there for me. From my junior year he was texting me while he was at Illinois all the way up to my freshman year at Illinois,” he said. “While I entered the portal, he was the first to get in contact with me.”

Hansberry spent one season at Illinois, appearing in 19 games for the Fighting Illini. Hansberry has three years of eligibility remaining and decided to visit West Virginia right away with Harris, his close friend.

“That was on purpose, Sencire and I talked about it. Over this past year, we really bonded. We were on a scout team together, always in the gym with coach Frazier,” Hansberry said. “I love Buck. I felt like if I was going to go see it, I might as well with one of my best friends.”

On his trip, Hansberry checked out the basketball facilities as well as the campus and Milan Puskar Stadium. Despite being recruited by the former staff in 2022, this was Hansberry’s first trip to Morgantown. Hansberry was impressed by the resources around campus.

“Campus is very unique, I’ve never seen a campus built on a mountain, so that was pretty fun to see,” Hansberry said. “I could just tell it’s a place you can win at.”

Hansberry is now committed, signed and bought into DeVries’ vision for the future of WVU Basketball. DeVries and WVU AD Wren Baker have emphasized building culture within the basketball program. West Virginia has lacked an identity recently as the new staff looks to get the program back on track.

“I learned that the program is trying to build a base of culture. They want to find guys with the right attitude, like-minded and want to win,” Hansberry said. “They’re very competitive, I’m really competitive myself and I know that Buck [Sencire Harris], he’s very competitive.”

“That’s a big piece of the culture we plan on building,” Hansberry added.

Out of high school, Hansberry was a four-star prospect in the 2023 class, winning the Gatorade Maryland Player of the Year his senior year. Hansberry had a huge increase in recruitment during his last year of high school but this past week in the transfer portal was quick and transparent.

“It was very chaotic, a lot of phone calls. I would say the biggest difference is everybody is trying to get straight to the point and everybody is just being transparent,” Hansberry said. “High school recruiting was more like trying to build a relationship, bring me out on a visit, things of that nature. Portal recruiting was more straight to the point and easier to make a decision.”

Hansberry averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds during his freshman year. The Maryland native has always played the frontcourt in his life but wants to expand his game to become more versatile, trying to think more like a guard. Hansberry is ready for the next chapter in his collegiate career.

“Get ready to have some fun, we’re going to get a lot of wins,” Hansberry concluded.

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