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Mia Hamm

Record Breaker

Hamm played high school soccer as a freshman and sophomore at Notre Dame High School in Wichita Falls.

Mia Hamm

At 15, Hamm became the youngest player ever selected to the women's national team. She played forward and filled in as a goalie for one international game. Hamm graduated from Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia. Dorrance recruited her to play for his team at the University of North Carolina. His influence on Hamm was crucial to her development, especially since she lacked confidence. Dorrance once pulled her aside and told her that she could become the best player in the world. "Without his guidance, support, and teaching, I'd never have become the player I turned out to be," Hamm revealed to Mazzola.

At North Carolina, Hamm majored in political science and broke collegiate records as a soccer star. She played on four straight NCAA championship teams from 1989 through 1993, was a three-time National Player of the Year, and became the NCAA's all-time leading scorer. Hamm's 103 goals, 72 assists and 278 points were all collegiate records, as were her tournament career records of 16 goals, nine assists and 41 points. Dorrance continued to urge her to work harder and develop her skills.

In 1991, Hamm took a sabbatical from college and spent a year training with the U.S. National team and playing in the first-ever Women's World Cup, held in China. Coached by Dorrance, the U.S. women won the world championship.

Barely 5 foot 5 and 125 pounds, Hamm was quick, an excellent passer, and a devastating shooter. She also earned a reputation as an excellent dribbler and header and could score with either foot. Aggressive and determined, Hamm had an uncanny knack for penetrating defenses. "Mia has this amazing ability to go right through defenders, as if by molecular displacement," said Dorrance.

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Famous Sports StarsSoccerMia Hamm Biography - Catching The Bug, Record Breaker, Celebrity Treatment, Chronology, On A Winning Team, Wusa Pioneer - SELECTED WRITINGS BY HAMM: