So it stands to reason, naturally, that Hamson's daughter, Jennifer, currently a freshman at BYU, grew up with a basketball in her hands.
"I was definitely not one of those kids," Jennifer Hamson said. "When I was little, my best friend was really small. Crazily enough, she got me interested in gymnastics. I really enjoyed it. But I stopped competing when I was in the eighth grade and started playing basketball and volleyball."
And still is.
While Jennifer Hamson's mother may have been a member of the 1984 Olympic Team, may have earned All-America honors four straight years and may hold BYU records for points in a single game (50), field-goal percentage (.609, minimum 150 attempts), career blocks (494) and blocks in a single game (11), she never pulled off the kind of feat her daughter did last Saturday.
After contributing five rebounds, five blocks, one point and one steal in the basketball team's 80-55 win over Washington at the Marriott Center, Jennifer Hamson headed straight to Smith Fieldhouse for BYU's volleyball match against New Mexico, the second-place team in the Mountain West Conference. In the Cougars' 3-1 upset of the Lobos, she finished with 13 kills, a .423 hitting percentage, one dig and four blocks.
Top that, Mom.
"I was really excited because both teams played really well and both teams won, but I was pretty tired the next day," said Hamson, one of the MWC's top candidates for Freshman of the Year in volleyball. "You don't want to disappoint your team if you're not there to play."
Heading into Wednesday night's volleyball match at Wyoming, Hamson ranks second among MWC freshmen (ninth overall) in points and third overall in service aces. After enduring a volleyball season that has spanned 28 matches with two to play, she has played in two of BYU's three basketball games but is averaging 5 blocks and 3.5 rebounds per game.
In the basketball team's first exhibition game of the season, Hamson finished as the Cougars leading scorer with 16 points.
"I think you saw a young lady who could be a great player someday," coach Jeff Judkins told the BYU Universe, the school's student newspaper. "Jen Hamson can be a real force."
Even if it's not in gymnastics, where going through a growth spurt that takes you from aspirations of being the next Shawn Johnson to being 6-foot-6 puts a bit of a damper on your dreams. In addition to BYU, the former Pleasant Grove (Utah) High School standout was offered the opportunity to play both volleyball and basketball at Utah, Oklahoma and Louisville.
Not that there was a considerable amount of consternation involved in her decision to attend BYU. Not only is she following her mother's basketball legacy, an uncle, Ben Hamson, and an aunt, Britt (Hamson) Kelly, also played volleyball at BYU.
"I had one person tell me I was crazy to try and play both (volleyball and basketball), but it really hasn't been that difficult at all," she said. "The coaches have been really good about working it out and allowing me to play both (sports), and my mom has been a huge influence. She got me into basketball and she really encouraged me to play both (sports) in college. It's really awesome, because she's helped me learn a lot about the game.
"It's a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun."