Hinton Makes Albion History, Breaks Racial Barrier in Women’s Basketball

Rain Hinton, a Albion College senior from Fort Wayne IN, dribbles the ball in Albion College women's basketball practice on Feb. 18 (Photo by Nnenna Nnaji).

Rain Hinton, a senior from Fort Wayne Indiana, continues to make Albion College history, not just as an athlete, but as a person of color as well.  On Feb. 9, the women’s basketball forward and center not only became the first woman of color on the all-time rebounding list, but also to reach 600 career rebounds, placing her fifth in all-time rebounding.

“I didn’t even know that this was a thing or that I was even in the running for all-time rebounds,” said Hinton. “This is a really big accomplishment and I am blessed that I was able to be that person. There have been a lot of women of color before me that didn’t have the chance to achieve these kinds of milestones that I did. A lot of people don’t like to see anyone of color accomplishing things especially women of color, so I am grateful that I was able to be on this team and be doing so well.”

 Hinton had a successful freshman year and has continued to progress and develop her skill throughout her Albion career. During the 2019-2020 season, Hinton made more history, surpassing 1000 career points in her junior year. This milestone made Hinton the second woman of color to be on the school’s all-time scoring list surpassing 1000 points, with the first being Oreyana Curry in the 2013-17 season.

“That was a really big thing and great moment for me,” said Hinton. “I knew that I was on track to have 1000-plus points, but my mindset was not on how many points I had. Honestly, my mindset was just on to the next because my job wasn’t finished. But I am grateful to have achieved such a great milestone. “

Female athletes of color carry the weight of expectations and assumptions while they are in play, and the  pressure on Black women to act in a certain way distinctly affects how they are viewed by others. How fast, strong, or aggressive they play are ideas that constantly feed into others’ negative judgment. 

The expectation to maintain a certain image, one that fits the mold of not being too aggressive or wild, not acting out and more, pressures the passions Black female athletes have for being themselves. Keeping composure and maintaining a specific image is a prominent factor for getting to the next level. This is one of many obstacles female athletes of color must get through. 

“It’s not an uncomfortable feeling anymore,” said Hinton. “All my life I have been told I am too aggressive and to me it’s just my natural state, I play hard every time. I do feel that I have to monitor when I play hard, especially when it comes to me being in foul trouble and not being able to help my team. I’m not sorry for being an aggressive player though because that is what I am. Being aggressive is where I get my momentum and what has shaped me into the player that I am now.”

Not only has Hinton made history during her time at Albion, but Doreen Carden, coach of the  women’s basketball team, said that Hinton’s grit and determination give her the edge that she has. 

“The best part about coaching Rain is her toughness and talent,” said Carden. “I remember her freshman year, she broke her nose in practice the first week.  It didn’t even phase her, she just wanted to play.  We got her a mask and ended up having a tremendous freshman year. Rain having the opportunity to break the school scoring record and passing 600 career rebounds shows how much of a competitor she is. I always know she is going to show up every game and compete.”


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