As a 6-foot center, Mount Pleasant High’s Andy Hunt might be easy to overlook.But when the Tigers’ senior post player takes the basketball court, it’s hard to ignore his style of play.It seems like there’s only one thing that can stop Hunt from pulling down more than 10 rebounds a game – and it’s not an opponent’s towering big man. The quality that makes Hunt a standout rebounder is often the same one that relegates him to the bench: his aggressiveness.Hunt enters each game almost expecting to get in foul trouble. But he always gets his money’s worth with the defense he plays, the glass he cleans and the increasing number of points he scores.After nine games, Hunt was averaging 10 rebounds and nine points a game. Not bad for someone whose mentality might be better suited for the gridiron.“I like to play football on the basketball court,” said Hunt, whose Tigers start the year 3-7 (0-3 in South Piedmont Conference play). “I just don’t like people getting easy shots.”Hunt has earned the respect of Jason Seidel, Mount Pleasant’s basketball coach, who also happened to coach him as a wide receiver and tight end in football, only two of the many positions he played.“He’s out of position playing center,” said Seidel. “Other teams’ centers are much bigger. But even so, he’s still getting 10 rebounds a game.”Coming off a junior season in which he found his niche as a rebounding and defensive specialist (he was the team’s defensive MVP), Hunt had a goal of scoring more points this year. Like a true post player, Hunt is finding it easier to score by hitting the offensive boards harder and seeking openings off of pick-and-rolls.Hunt said that he feels more comfortable in Seidel’s motion offense this year. Seidel attributes Hunt’s improved scoring to his leadership and work ethic.While Hunt has had plenty of blue-collar moments as a rebounder and defender this season, his highlight reel play came in Mount Pleasant’s 54-52 victory over Central Academy early in the season.With the clock ticking down to its final seconds, Hunt already had been true to form by pulling down a team-high 12 rebounds. The Tigers were down a point, however, when Seidel called a play in which Hunt was far from the first scoring option.Out of place in the corner, Hunt took a pass behind the 3-point arc and launched a long jumper that found the bottom of the net. That was the first time in his eight years of playing basketball that he hit a game-winning shot.That made Hunt the team’s leader in 3-point shooting percentage. Through nine games, he’s still a perfect one-for-one from long distance.His versatility is what made him a standout football player, too; twice he’s been named All-SPC.Hunt caught 33 passes this year for 486 yards and seven scores. He also registered touchdowns by rushing and returning kickoffs.Playing safety on defense, Hunt made 38 tackles, three interceptions and recovered a fumble. As the Tigers’ punter, he averaged 37.6 yards per kick and had a long of 63 yards.Hunt is being recruited by several colleges to play football. Seidel says there has been mutual interest between Hunt and Davidson, Catawba, Wingate and Lenoir-Rhyne.
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013
Agressiveness helps Mount Pleasant senior hit the boards for Tigers
Mount Pleasant senior Andy Hunt, center, started the year averaging 10 rebounds and nine points per game. He was also an All-South Piedmont Conference football player. COURTESY OF MOUNT PLEASANT'S DIGITAL MEDIA CLASS
The Hunt file This is what Mount Pleasant senior basketball player Andy Hunt prefers: Science or math? Math. Rebounding or passing? Rebounding. Long or short sleeves? Short sleeves. Playing offense or defense? Defense. Basketball or football? Football.