Friday, February 1, 2013


On Wednesday night I decided to go watch my university's basketball team play Georgia State.  Northeastern, my school, had been undefeated in league play prior to the contest.  We had played on Sunday night on television and I was impressed with how easily we dispatched George Mason University--a team that often is very competitive.

I got to the arena a little late, but in no time I found myself focussing on two people in the arena.  The first one was the head coach for Georgia State.  We, Northeastern, got off to a strong start and the coach for Georgia State seemed exasperated after every play.  He threw his arms up in frustration whenever his team failed to prevent a Northeastern score. To me it seemed as if the guy could never be satisfied.  Even when his team did something well, he berated one player or another for not doing something else. I wondered how anyone could play for this guy.  And I just could not believe a team under such constant criticism could win.

They won.

In the second half Georgia State outplayed Northeastern.  A primary reason was the second person I had focussed on in the arena.  This fellow who had leg wraps on both of his legs was shooting like a professional.  In the second half he was so good that I was startled at how, seemingly effortlessly, he could get open despite the attention to keeping him guarded. The player, RJ Hunter, wound up with 27 points.  Tall, slim, and that night a shooting machine.  I figured, though, that eventually this guy would get fed up with the coach's histrionics.

Today, I discovered that this is unlikely. Curious as to who the coach was, I went to the Georgia State website to look him up.  I had to give the guy his due, in the second half, the team had responded both defensively and offensively.  And especially, this Hunter kid--a freshmen I found out later--was like Michael Jordan out there.

I look up the coach and his name is Ron Hunter.  He may be difficult to please, but he was able, I discovered, to recruit his son, RJ, to come and play for Georgia State.  And after the performance RJ displayed on Wednesday, I think his dad is pretty smart and a wise recruiter.   Georgia State is moving to another conference, the Sun Belt, next year.  Look out for the Hunters in the Sun Belt.

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