Dan Hanan's introduction to volleyball came at block parties in his Huntington Beach neighborhood. He called it "10-on-10 jungle ball."
Hanan played basketball as a freshman at Edison High School. That spring, a friend talked him into giving organized volleyball a try. Hanan had a little time on his hands, and he figured that might be a good way to kill it.
By his junior year, Hanan went out for basketball in order to "get in shape for volleyball," he said.
The change of athletic priorities worked out for the best for both Hanan and Edison. Hanan, The Times' volleyball Player of the Year, was one of the key figures in the Chargers' recent rise to prominence. Edison reached the Southern Section 4-A semifinals in 1985 and the championship match this season. The Chargers lost to Dana Hills in the final, 14-16, 15-10, 15-6, 6-15, 15-4, but finished with an 18-2 record.
And what has volleyball done for Hanan?
Plenty. He was named the 1986 4-A Player of the Year, and the athlete of the year at a school known more for its outside linebackers and wide receivers than outside hitters and middle blockers. And it helped him earn the attention of major college recruiters. Hanan is an honors student and Edison's commissioner of boys' athletics, a student government position. He will attend Stanford on an athletic scholarship next fall.