NASHVILLE, Tenn. – You may not see her impact in the box score, but each and every Belmont women's basketball game starts and ends with Hannah Harmeyer.
A fifth-year senior, Hannah has played a unique role for the Bruins this season, one unseen to nearly all outside the locker room. The team's spiritual leader, Hannah guides the pre- and post-game prayers. It's the most tangible example of the 5-foot-8 guard's intangible place at the heart of the Belmont program.
After a standout high school career at Lutheran Shoreland High in Kenosha, Wis., Hannah enrolled at nearby Wisconsin Lutheran College to play basketball. But when her younger sister, Ellie, committed to play for Belmont the following spring in 2015, Hannah began the process of transferring to join her in Nashville.
Where Ellie has blossomed into a bona fide star on the court for the Bruins – she's a three-time OVC Player of the Week this season alone – Hannah has been a quieter contributor there. She's scored only a handful of points in three years of play, typically in the waning moments of big wins. Hannah wrestled with that fact for some time before realizing she can have just as crucial of an effect on the Bruins' young roster with her voice.
"Nobody comes to college thinking they're going to play two minutes a game. It's been a struggle sometimes, but as the years have gone by I've realized I have a role to play," Hannah said. "My teammates look to me as a leader, and that's something I really take to heart. They don't see me as a player on the bench, they see me as Hannah – their teammate and an important part of the team.
"I come to practice and games every day to root on my teammates and try to make them the best they can be. At the end of the day, knowing that I helped push them to be better. That's what's so important to me."
Her impact is so much more than that according to her fellow Bruins. Hannah is the beating heart of Belmont women's basketball.
"Hannah hasn't gotten a lot of floor time, but it's not about what she does on the court," said Ellie, Hannah's younger sister by 20 months. "She's who we look to off the court. She gets this team ready to play before every game. She's got these indescribable leadership qualities that are so tough to put into words. She's such an important aspect to this team. It's very powerful."
As they in do most things, the Harmeyer sisters study and take classes together at Belmont as a pair of nursing majors. Because of Hannah's transfer, they'll graduate together in May. Because of the alphabet, Ellie will cross the stage first to receive her degree.
But as was the case four years ago when she first came to Belmont, Hannah will be right there behind her sister.
"It's been an amazing adventure with her," Hannah said of her time at Belmont. "It's meant everything to me."
VIDEO: �� You say TWIBA, I say time! TWIBA.... #TWIBATime Check out this weekly dose of Belmont action! | 'This Week in Belmont Athletics' featuring @BelmontWBB Paris Lawson #ItsBruinTime #TWIBA #OVC pic.twitter.com/cbiumTVgKm— Belmont Athletics (@GoBelmontBruins) February 6, 2019