6-foot-7 Pleasant Grove star headed to BYU

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PLEASANT GROVE -- Next weekend is the start of the state volleyball championships. The team to beat in 5A is Pleasant Grove. One very big reason is a very tall girl who has a really tall mom, who passed on her own athletic genes.

Jen Hamson stands an impressive 6 feet 7 inches tall, and she's proud of it. But being one of the tallest in her high school has its downside.

"At first, I was really excited. I was like, ‘Yeah, I'm going to be really, really tall.' But then once it became too hard to find pants, I was like, ‘Oh," Jen says.

With a 41-inch inseam, jeans are hard to find. And with just two boys taller than her in school--one being her brother--dates don't come easily either. Jen's perfect fit these days is playing volleyball.

"She got into volley ball because she wanted to do volleyball, and she didn't want anything to do with basketball because of me," says Jen's mother, Teresa Spalding Hamson.

Teresa was a star at BYU in the mid-‘80s and led the nation in scoring her senior season. She and her husband also stand 6 feet 7 inches tall.

"I think maybe ‘cause it was kinda forced upon me and everyone expected me to play. And I just didn't want to," Jen explains.

But when she hit 6-foot-3, Jen decided give hoops a try.

"In 9th grade she changed her mind and she said, ‘Hey Mom, I decided I want to try basketball,'" Teresa says.

Jen tried it, she liked it, and BYU liked her. She committed last week to the Cougars and will play both sports.

"Sometimes, like, basketball comes a little bit more naturally ‘cause my mom teaches me moves and stuff like that," Jen says.

And these days, how many 17-years-olds can truly say they see eye to eye with their mother?

E-mail: kaiken@ksl.com

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