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TCU Women's Basketball Ella Hamlin

TCU Women's Basketball Ella HamlinElla Hamlin ’27 thought her basketball days had ended when she graduated from Granbury High School in 2023. She had been playing basketball her entire life, but rather than pursuing the sport as a college athlete, Hamlin decided to dedicate herself to another passion — nursing.

Hamlin’s fascination with the medical field and the profound impact nurses have on patient care has fueled her determination to pursue a nursing degree. To Hamlin, it isn’t just about acquiring knowledge; it’s about developing the skills and empathy needed to make a difference in people’s lives during their most vulnerable moments.

Growing up in north Texas, Hamlin had always been familiar with TCU. When it came time to choose a college, TCU’s strong academic reputation and close-knit community were appealing factors for her, as well as its proximity to home. Hamlin chose TCU primarily for its exceptional nursing program, coupled with the unique atmosphere that combines the advantages of a smaller school with the excitement of big athletics and spirited campus life.

Hamlin’s academic journey in TCU Nursing has been both challenging and rewarding. Her favorite memory in the program so far — a virtual child simulation in the “Human Development” course — ignited her passion for pediatric nursing. Hamlin highlighted this interactive experience as it not only sharpened her clinical skills but also instilled in her a sense of purpose and joy in caring for others.

TCU Women's Basketball Ella Hamlin

Walking On the Team

Joining the TCU womens basketball team was not initially part of Hamlin’s plan. Having decided to focus solely on her nursing major, she was content with the direction her academic journey was taking. However, fate had other plans when open tryouts were announced due to a series of unfortunate injuries that left the team in need of fresh talent. Ella saw this as an opportunity — a chance to reignite her love for the game while continuing to pursue her academic aspirations.

When I saw the open tryout flyer for the women’s basketball team, it was so exciting to think I could be able to do both at TCU,” recalled Hamlin. “I was beyond excited and thankful for the opportunity to tryout.”

Hamlin was elated when she got the call that she had made the team. Her first call was to her number one fans — her parents. Shortly after joining the team, Hamlin had the opportunity to meet her new teammates, who welcomed her with open arms. Their warmth and camaraderie made her feel instantly welcomed and valued. The coaching staff’s encouragement and guidance further fueled her determination to give her best to the team.

TCU Women's Basketball Ella HamlinJuggling Textbooks and Basketball

Balancing her rigorous nursing courses with the demands of collegiate basketball was a challenge Hamlin faced after joining the team. Managing her time effectively became crucial, she said, with practice sessions, games and travel competing for her attention alongside her academic commitments. This required Hamlin to develop strong time management skills and prioritize tasks to stay on top of her responsibilities.

Despite these challenges, Hamlin’s determination and dedication allowed her to navigate these obstacles successfully. She sought support from coaches, teammates and academic advisors, implementing strategies to manage her workload and excel both on the court and in the classroom. Her ability to persevere through challenges and grow from these experiences contributed to her development as a well-rounded student-athlete.

Lessons in Nursing & Basketball

Hamlin’s experience as a student-athlete at TCU not only sharpened her basketball skills but also taught her valuable life lessons applicable to her future career in nursing.

It has taught me how to balance multiple tasks at once, which is a very important trait for a nurse to have,” Hamlin reflects. “The team aspect is also very similar to that of the health care field, and being able to work as part of a team is another invaluable trait for a nurse to possess.”

While Hamlin is not certain about her future with the TCU women’s basketball team, the life skills she developed this past season are invaluable and will serve her well for the rest of her academic career, she says. Reflecting on her experience, Hamlin offers advice to incoming students aspiring to excel academically and athletically: “Give yourself some grace.”