It was not long ago that John Hansberry was living a dream — as a high school senior he was being recruited to play basketball at the college level. It wasn't clear where he would go to school, or how much of that education playing basketball would pay for. It was clear, however, that he would get the chance to play college ball.
He was being recruited the heaviest by Bethany College of Lindsborg. But a trip from Portland, Oregon, to central Kansas to check out one small college seemed cost prohibitive. He instead chose to visit several colleges on that trip — including Bethel. Bethel is where he would sign a letter of intent to play ball. And play ball he did — for one and a half seasons.
"That did not work out the way I thought it would," Hansberry said.
He, however, decided to stay in North Newton — and to start his own business. He now working his way through school in a very unique way — as the owner of JQ Basketball Training LLC. Basketball, it seems, will still pay his way through school — just not with a playing scholarship.
"I grew up playing basketball ... basketball brought me here," Hansberry said. "Basketball is something I really enjoy. I have played for a really long time and it is something that I know a lot about. It is something that I think I can help people with."
He is helping train current Bethel players from both the men's and women's teams. He also runs camps for younger players — teaching skills and how to get recruited by colleges. In the short time the 20-year-old has operated his own business, he has trained more than 100 players.
He also has written four books — including one on how to get recruited and a novel.
He is also planning a tournament — a three-on-three tournament April 13 in Newton at Bethel College and the Youthville campus gym. He is signing up middle school, coed, high school and adult teams. Cost is $75 to enter a team before April 7.
Register by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or jqbasketballtraining.com/tournaments, where you can pay before the event. Everyone who enters the tournament before April 7 will receive a T-shirt. Late registration will be $90 without a guaranteed T-shirt.
About 90 percent of the tournament proceeds will be donated to New Hope Shelter. Hansberry said the charity donation was what helped get the tournament off the ground, and it will support an organization that he believes in after researching New Hope for a class at Bethel.
He applied for an internship at a local real estate company, but has to wait until his junior year to do that for credit. Still, he shadows Alex Carbajal at ReMax and Associates to learn what he may want to do when he gets out of college.
For now, however, he is concentrating on school and his basketball business.
"The biggest thing is time management," Hansberry said. "I have to do all I can to make the most of every second of every day and be as productive as possible."