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Notes: Durango guard Anthony Hunter thrives in junior season

Updated January 8, 2019 - 2:33 pm

Durango junior point guard Anthony Hunter figured it out in June.

The “it” was what he needed to do to become a high-level midmajor Division I player. Maybe a high-major Division I player. The “it” for Hunter entailed three rigorous weeks of three-a-day workouts.

Hill sprints, weight training and basketball skill development.

“I came and watched, and started seeing what he was doing,” said Las Vegas Knicks program director Lamar Bigby, for whom Hunter has played during the summer since his freshman year. “When the season came, I knew he would just rip stuff up.”

Hunter indeed is ripping stuff up as one of the top players in the Las Vegas Valley, and he has nine Division I scholarship offers while averaging 22.5 points for the Trailblazers. He received an offer from perennial Mountain West power San Diego State last month and has offers from Missouri State, Southern Mississippi and Long Beach State, among others.

“I stay home. I stay in the gym,” Hunter said. “Waking up early in the morning, sacrificing time, friends and the regular high school student life. It’s the blueprint.”

Hunter learned to love basketball from his father and late uncle, whom he honors with a tattoo across his chest. He came to believe he could play Division I basketball at the end of his freshman year and received his first offer that spring from Cal-State Northridge.

“I was so happy. When I got that call, I didn’t even know how to react,” he said. “The wheels on the train started rolling.”

A slender 6-footer, Hunter is an instinctive scorer and averaged 20.1 points last season. He’s since worked to round out his skill set under the direction of his high school and club basketball coaches and is an improving defender who, as the only returning rotation player, has embraced a leadership role at Durango.

Bigby challenged Hunter in the summer to run the point with a more cerebral perspective, and Trailblazers coach DeShawn Henry said Hunter has become an extension of the coaching staff.

“He’s not only thinking about how he plays and performs,” Henry said. “He’s thinking about what he has to do to get certain guys in position, get certain guys motivated. … He’s not relying on the coaches to always do it. He’s taken on that role.”

Top rusher announces commitment

Arbor View senior running back Kyle Graham announced his commitment Monday to play at Augustana (South Dakota). His commitment is nonbinding and won’t be official until he signs a national letter of intent. The next signing period begins Feb. 6.

Graham led the valley with 2,073 rushing yards and scored 21 rushing touchdowns. The Aggies (12-2) reached the Class 4A state semifinals.

Centennial girls jump in rankings

Centennial’s girls basketball team jumped from No. 18 to No. 12 in USA Today’s Super 25 after blowout wins over Fairmont Prep (California) and then-No. 8 Windward (California) last week. The Bulldogs (13-1) play Shadow Ridge on Wednesday and Palo Verde on Friday.

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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