For the first time in the history of Las Positas College’s Women’s basketball program, a former player and coach has inked a deal to play professional basketball.
Since joining the Women’s basketball program for the 2017-2018 season, Ashley Hart has become an inspiration for future members of the team. Playing two seasons at Las Positas before moving on to San Francisco State University (SFU) from 2019 to 2021, later returning to coach. Hart considers her time at Las Positas invaluable to her growth not only as a player but a person. “When I look back I know I wouldn’t get this far without going through Las Positas Women’s basketball program,” Hart said.
Despite an impressive high school basketball career, Hart received no recognition from a four-year college. Hart averaged 15.7 points a game in her senior year at Millenium Charter School in Tracy, with a career high of 41 points in a single game. Hart was also named female All-League in her senior season. During a year break from basketball, Hart questioned her future in basketball. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue playing,” said Hart.
Hart immediately found that she would love to play again. She then began looking at local schools. Hart discovered former teammate Jenna Kol was already playing at Las Positas. “I thought it would be a great fit,” said Hart.
Hart spent her freshman year learning the ropes. Sophomore year proved to be her breakout season, leading the team with 21 points per game and a 42 percent field goal rating. Hart was also named first team All-Conference.
After Hart’s sophomore season the calls from the four-year school started to come in from around the country. She ultimately chose San Francisco State. “I felt San Francisco state was the best fit for me,” Hart said. Head Coach Natasha Smith kept Hart grounded with her forwardness and honesty.
Hart’s second year at SFSU represented another career-defining year. She was one of three players to play all 25 games in the 2021-2022 season, starting all but one game. Hart led the team in blocks with 17. She came in second with a season total of 237 points. Hart also set another career milestone that year with her first double – double in the last game of the season versus Cal Poly Pomona with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Hart returned to Las Positas as assistant coach for the 2022-2023 season, at head Coach Caleb Theodore’s side. Together they revitalized the women’s basketball program. Hart being a LPC veteran helped bridge the gap between players and newly-named head coach Theodore. Coaching was an experience Hart will never forget. She gained a new perspective on the journey every junior college student takes.
“I wouldn’t be the player or the person I am without it, I am happy that I got that chance to go back and coach and give back,” said Hart.
It was during the off-season, playing in the Women’s Premier Basketball Association (WPBA) that led to the call. Led by founder and CEO Faatimah A, the WPBA is a Bay Area basketball program that seeks to empower, educate, support and mentor women basketball players.
“I need to give a shout out to the WPBA and Faatimah A, for everything they are doing for Bay Area sports,” said Hart.
Hart continued to put up impressive numbers as a member of the Berkeley Royals in the 2022 season. Faatimah A forwarded highlights to contacts in Ireland’s National League of Basketball. It was then Hart received a message via WhatsApp. Ireland was interested in signing Hart.
Hart couldn’t believe the news. She never even considered playing basketball professionally in a different country. Before she could have second thoughts or talk herself out of it, she agreed and made the trip across the ocean to Ireland and a new beginning.
Hart joins the Limerick Sport Huskies for the 2023-2024 season. Hart attributes her time and experience at Las Positas to her success. Hart says being a Hawk gave her the opportunities, the resources and the support of the program staff to excel.
Ashley Hart is the heart and soul of this program, no pun intended. I can’t speak enough about her impact.” Coach Caleb Theodore said.
Justin Gomes is a writer for The Express. His X: @JUSTING76412521