Natalie Hardin is a three-sport athlete, and recent graduate of Harrells Christian Academy. She played volleyball, basketball, and soccer, and her talents earned her team captain status in all-three sports.
She is also an All-County performer on the basketball court and the soccer field.
Although she loves to play all three of these sports, and enjoys competing at any level, Hardin’s favorite sport is soccer.
“I just love soccer,” she said. “It’s the game I have played for a while, I grew up playing it, starting when I was four. It has kind of always came natural to me.”
Hardin explained that she has an abundance of fond memories on the soccer field, but the most memorable was when they won at Fayetteville Academy for the first time in HCA history. “That’s something I’ll always remember. It’s cool to be a part of the school’s first time accomplishing anything,” said Hardin.
She expressed the importance of being a three sport athlete in noting that being able to balance time between multiple sports and school was very valuable in being able to manage time effectively. “It can be difficult, but the benefits of learning how to manage time and energy in an effective way is very beneficial,” she said.
As such a fan of soccer, Hardin praised the US Women’s National team on their recent World Cup victory over Japan.
“It was insane,” she said. “Going up 3-0 in the first 16 minutes was just crazy. It honestly blew my mind. I was obviously very excited, but more than anything I was proud. I hope that it will make soccer a more popular sport in America. It hasn’t been around as long as football and baseball, so maybe it will spark some pride and cultivate a much larger fan base. It seems to have already made the sport bigger and hopefully the win will continue to increase interest in the game,” she continued.
As for being a Crusader, the recent graduate stated that she loved the family aspect of things at HCA. “Being a Crusader, it’s all about everyone trying to help everyone get better as whatever they do,” she said. “It’s something that is really cool to be a part of.”
Hardin will be heading to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall in hopes of one day being a sports broadcaster on ESPN. She is majoring in Journalism Media and Spanish while at UNC.
Through playing sports throughout her entire youth, Hardin has reached the point as to where she wishes to make a career out of it. “I am, and always have been, very interested in sports,” she said. “That’s just how I grew up.”
Although she has played her last high school game, Hardin’s career in sports is just beginning.