The first time I saw Alex Hunter, he was walking with Russ Frazier varsity basketball coach, on the track. We were in gym class, and I was talking with senior captain Brandon Staves.
“That’s your starting point guard?” I asked skeptically. “Is he that good?”
Staves was confident, sure of the unproven freshmen. “Oh yeah,” he said. “You’ll see.”
One basketball season later, we all see Brandon Staves was telling the truth: Alex Hunter is the real deal. The freshman phenom has come in and started at point guard for the Leesville men’s varsity basketball team. He surprised many with his quick, nifty dribbling and pinpoint-accurate passing.
Coach Frazier was impressed with Hunter’s progress through the season. “He’s learned to control the flow of the game. The person with the ball controls the game. Alex started understanding that he was driving the boat, everyone else was riding it,” said Coach Frazier. “He can play as high a level as he wants to play at. He just has to continue to get better, no plateaus.”
Coming out of Durant Middle School, many people didn’t know about him until he started to make some noise at the high school level. Hunter, often the smallest player on the court, made the flashy plays that drew ooh’s and aah’s from the crowd. However, he also made the little plays, the ones that often go unnoticed — the ones that win games.
His rapid success even surprised himself. “This season, I expected to do well, but I’ve done more than I expected I would,” he said. Even still, Hunter still sees room for improvement. He wants to improve on his defensive versatility as well as his shot consistency.
One can also attribute his success to his humble, mature demeanor. He doesn’t come with the starting point guard bravado one would expect from a freshman. “I speak Spanish, I like to read and play video games. All the things that regular people like to do.”
Hunter doesn’t put himself on a pedestal from other students, and attributes that attitude to his parents. “They motivate me everyday to work harder. They made me who I am without them I wouldn’t be the person that I am.”
“Alex has a fond leadership quality. People are going to follow him because he does the right thing,” said Coach Frazier. “He did what was best for our team, so when he spoke up, made a play — everyone respected that.”
With one wild year under his belt, one can only expect an improved Alex Hunter next year. When asked of his goals for the upcoming years, he didn’t hesitate: A state championship. That’s a high goal, but with a young Leesville team, the future is bright…especially with Alex Hunter leading the way.