A Roman Author once said “home is where the heart is.”  This can mean that our love (our ‘heart’) is focused around the family home. A person’s heart will always be at home. This means that their love, affection and fond memories will always be tied to the place that they live.  Such is the case for LCHS’ foreign exchange student and standout tennis player Hanna Bansemir.

In late July, Bansemir made the journey from Bremen Germany (2,000 miles) to Hodgenville to experience what very few students have the opportunity to do, and that is expand their horizons by experiencing a different school and lifestyle.  The only thing that Bansemir was comfortable with her is her passion for tennis.

Bansemir politely describes herself, “When I’m not on the tennis court, I love spending time with my friends or my family. I would say I am calm and I love making new friends. On the tennis court, I focus on what I have to do and I want to win every single point. I don’t get distracted very easily and I play fair every single one of my matches.”

Dewayne, Carlene, Eli, Abby and Lilly are Bansemir’s American family.  Gibson (Dewayne) is impressed with Hanna’s maturity on and off the court.  “Hanna has a good mixture of intelligence and maturity both on and off the court.  That combination sets her up for being successful as a competitor, but also in the classroom.  Her weapons as a player are found in her serve, her forehand, and her ability to finish points at the net. “

Gibson admits that Bansemir has transitioned very well.  “She has fit in so well that I don’t think an outsider looking in would be able to tell a difference between her and any other member of our team.  I do not say that to mean that she abandoned who she is, but rather that she has integrated her own culture and personality within her new surroundings with near perfection.”

The humble Bansemir does admit that it was not easy to initially fit in to the American culture.  “I wouldn’t say it was easy to come to a completely new school with people I’ve never met in my life. The best thing was, I had my host sister Abi and she helped me a lot! I started meeting new people and some of them are going to be friends for a lifetime. The school system is very different, I had to get used to the schedule that never changes, multiple choice tests every day and especially the language.”

Bansemir continues, “I love living with my host family and I couldn’t be any happier. It isn’t always easy to be away from home, but I can truly say I found a second home on the other side of the world. They support me with everything I do and I can always count on them!”

Bansemir, who is currently ranked #2 in the Conference started playing tennis when she was six years old, where she played once a week, just for fun and stay active at the request of her parents.  Since I played almost every day, I got better. I switched from my home club to a different club where I had the chance to improve myself with better players.

Coach Terry Caven says she has a great opportunity to keep improving and vie for a region championship.  “She has done well this season in her transition to playing #1 singles for our lady hawks tennis team.  Her only losses have been to North Hardin’s #1 singles player Addison Sutton, who would have been widely considered to be the preseason best singles player in our region.  One of Hanna’s losses to Addison was decided in a super tie-breaker.  We believe in her ability to grow as a player over the next month and our goal is for her to win the Conference and Region singles titles.”

Bansemir concludes by saying, “My expectations are that I can improve some of my skills with Coach Caven and that I will win most of my matches. I want to play regions and I hope I get the chance to play at state, to experience the full American tennis season with up and downs. I also want us as a team to be as close as possible, it is important for a good team to support each other.”

After her stay in the United States, she will return to Germany to finish High School and plans to attend college in Germany or possibly return to the United States.