Published Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm / Updated at 9:20 pm
Seward native ready to tip off for NU

LINCOLN — Earlier this week, Hannah Tvrdy said she planned to celebrate Thursday as so many folks in Seward do: heading to downtown for the carnival, parade and “food alley” of Nebraska’s largest annual Independence Day celebration. Seward bills itself as “America’s Fourth of July City,” after all.

“It’s awesome — pretty much everyone in Seward does,” Tvrdy said.

The town has grown a reputation for good women’s basketball players, too. And if Seward was bringing a contingent in recent years to watch Nebraska forward and Seward graduate Emily Cady at the old Devaney Center, that number could easily multiply now that the 5-foot-9 Tvrdy is a freshman for the Huskers and reuniting with Cady — who played a key role in NU’s Sweet 16 run last year — at the new Pinnacle Bank Arena.

“So exciting,” Tvrdy said, and meant it. She repeated the phrase often in a phone interview. She committed to Nebraska in 2011, before most of this crop of Huskers had even played a game in Lincoln, and has been on campus since early June.

While Nebraska’s other top newcomers, forward Allie Havers and guard Esther Ramacieri, don’t arrive until later this month, Tvrdy battles current Husker guards T’eara Laudermill, Rachel Theriot and Brandi Jeffery in pickup games, trying to acclimate to the speed of the college game.

“It’s definitely a step up,” Tvrdy said. “They’re all great basketball players. T (Laudermill) is so fast. She’s definitely a top defensive player.”

Laudermill will be called on to score more often as a junior, but her first two seasons were spent as a defensive “hound” in coach Connie Yori’s defense. Tvrdy said defensive stopper could be her role early in her career, as well, especially as women’s basketball institutes a 10-second rule for teams to cross half court. Although Tvrdy averaged 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and four assists in her senior year at Seward — a similar all-around game to the taller Cady — she said she’d embrace the defensive role initially.

“You have to have the tenacity to just dog somebody,” she said.

She started developing that trait in the second grade, when she played for her mom, Shelley, on Seward En Fuego. In high school, Hannah’s dad, Tom, coached her to state titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Seward made it to the state semifinals this year before losing.

It was Tom who spent so many hours in the gym helping to hone Hannah’s game. And Tom who helped develop Hannah’s mind for basketball.

Now, Hannah said, he’ll have to adjust to being one of those Seward families that sits in the seats while Yori and her staff develops his daughter. How does Hannah think he’ll handle it?

“I don’t know,” she said with a laugh. “It’s a little tough for him right now. But I think he’ll understand and just like watching.”

Contact the writer: Sam McKewon    |   402-219-3790    |  

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him. Follow him on Twitter. Call him.



< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Shoreline Golf Club
$40 for 2 Players, 18 Holes of Golf with Cart ($85 Value)
Buy Now
< >