Basketball Star Commits To Western Kentucky

Hunter: “Without basketball, I would be nothing.”

Antonio Scott, Staff Reporter

Marlon Hunter's Dream Came True When He Committed To Play College Basketball.
Marlon Hunter’s Dream Came True When He Committed To Play College Basketball.

There is no question high school basketball players work hard on the court to succeed in not only their games, but ultimately, life. A continuing theme for thousands of student athletes across the nation is the want to win, earning a spot on Varsity, or even taking their talents to the next level. Senior basketball shooting forward Marlon Hunter is a workaholic.

“Marlon stays in the gym tirelessly. He gives 110%,” said Houston High Head Men’s Basketball Coach William Buford. Having this mindset has given Hunter the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. Whether it may be preparatory, collegiate, or professional, high school student athletes grind their way to the top, by any means necessary.

On Thursday, November 06, 2014, Hunter chose a jersey. At a school pep rally for the upcoming basketball season, Hunter announced his commitment to Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of Tennessee at Martin, University of Arkansas Little Rock, East Tennessee State University, and Western Kentucky University only began the list of basketball programs offering Hunter a jersey on their squad.

Hunter attributes ball handling and shooting off the dribble as his biggest accomplishments during his student athletic career. “Working on my weak hand, which is my left hand,” is an important factor for “play[ing] on a big level and accomplishing my goals; that’s winning.” A level he will soon come into contact with, following yesterday’s verbal commitment.

A training key for Hunter is his energy. Hunter’s energy led him to score a whopping 43 points during a scrimmage game against Hamilton at home last Saturday. By working hard and pushing himself, Hunter has set and succeeded at goals many student athletes can only dream to accomplish.

At the onset of his junior year, Hunter transferred to Houston from inner-city Melrose High School, stating “learning the system on how to work, education wise,” was his biggest success while wearing a Houston jersey.

Basketball is not merely a sport to Hunter: but an ever-evolving passion. “This is a way out, that’s why I push myself; because without basketball, I would be nothing.” While briefly tearing up during the interview, Hunter notes “Growing up, I didn’t have a father figure in my life. So, I’m the only person in my family to do something.”

Despite the obvious talents and Hunter’s seldom seen athletic ability, basketball was not Hunter’s first choice. Playing football during his childhood opened the door for basketball to move into his path and provide him with a passion, dream, and purpose. When Hunter’s former coach saw Hunter’s height, he took Hunter to the gym. “He [Coach Gainer] pushed me and told me you’re going to be somebody in life.” Those seeds of excellence by inspiration Coach Harry Gainer planted into Hunter’s lifestyle are finally beginning to sprout.

Hunter is fond of the quote “Never let anyone tell you what you can do, always strive for the best and never give up.” Evidently striving for the next level in basketball, Hunter acknowledges his humble beginnings. “I had no left hand, my shooting was horrible, I couldn’t even get the ball into the hole at all.” When Coach Gainer began to continuously work with Hunter and show him the avenues of escape basketball provided, he fell in love with it.

United we stand, divided we fall: United we rise is the mantra in which Coach Buford leads Houston’s Men’s team. “Without that, we’re not a team.” Hunter says.

Playing center most of his middle school career, due to his height, Hunter is excited to take his talents to WKU as a shooting guard. “I know there are four seniors leaving, so I’ll get a lot of playing time and I’ll be able handle the pressure.” His love for the WKU atmosphere and the admiration of the coaching staff nailed Hunter’s decision to commit to the Kentucky school. “I know they’ll push me to the limit, and get me to the pros.”

Hunter derives his inspiration from his uncle. “Ever since he moved me from Panama City, he has been the father in my life. He taught me right from wrong and straightened me up.” Due to his uncle’s and Coach’s Gainer’s belief that “I will be somebody” Hunter said, nothing could be impossible, even Hunter’s dreams at playing basketball, whether its in college, overseas, or the NBA.

The daily inspiration he continues to gain from his uncle has lead Hunter to the national stage. Driving from within, Hunter is know prepared to play at Western Kentucky University, continuing his quest to break through expectations, succeed barriers, and ball his way to significance as a household name in the world of collegiate basketball and beyond.