Senior Hadlock inks to Cottey College to continue hoops career

Skylan Akins

Miller senior Claudia Hadlock is all smiles after signing with Cottey College. Joining Hadlock are her parents and Cottey coaches Maryann Mitts and assistant Evan Belk. (Photo by Skylan Akins)

It has been quite the four months for Miller senior Claudia Hadlock. Back in August she announced via Twitter that she was committing to Cottey College to continue her academic and basketball career. Then earlier this month, Hadlock helped lead the Lady Cardinals to win their first-ever state championship and Miller’s second championship across all sports. Then, a few weeks ago, she finally got to put pen to paper and officially become part of the 2022 class for the Lady Comets.
“I was a little nervous sitting up there with everyone looking at me. You don’t want to mess up but all I had to do was sign a paper. Coach Mitts said some things that I will never forget, and I am super grateful and thankful for them and thankful of Cottey for giving me this opportunity,” Hadlock said.
Cottey is getting a great, do-it-all guard who will be able to immediately step into a major role.
“Cottey is getting a great player, a hard worker, someone who is dedicated to the game and someone who just wants to win. Everything Claudia does, she wants to win and that is what puts her ahead of a lot of high school kids,” Miller basketball coach Sean Price said.
This wasn’t a short-term grab for Cottey coach Maryann Mitts. She first saw Hadlock play as a kindergartener during her historic tenure at Missouri Southern State, where she retired the winningest coach in women’s basketball history.
“I have known the Hadlocks for a long time going back to camps at MSSU. The first time I saw her was in kindergarten and I knew how special she was. I respected the Hadlocks so much I wasn’t going to recruit her because she could go play at a much higher level. However, now I respect them so much more because they didn’t get caught up in going Division 1 and chose to play for us, a NAIA institution,” Mitts said at the signing.
“I was coming home from Oklahoma with my AAU team, and I was telling my mom that I wanted to be at Cottey 110 percent, so then I called Coach Mitts and said, 'So, I’m going to be a Comet.' She responded, 'No, you are not.' And I said, 'Yes, I am! I love the values and what you stand for,' and that is ultimately why I decided to commit to Cottey,” Hadlock said.
In previous conversations with Hadlock, she stated that she still has a few more goals this year, starting with the elusive win in the quarterfinal game, and a trip to the Final Four.


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