UConn bound girls hoops star Andra Espinoza-Hunter finally plays in front of grandmother with ALS

UConn bound girls hoops star Andra Espinoza-Hunter finally plays in front of grandmother with ALS

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UConn bound girls hoops star Andra Espinoza-Hunter finally plays in front of grandmother with ALS

Ossining's Andra Espinoza-Hunter (2) drives the ball during the consolation game against Bishop Loughlin at the18th Annual Slam Dunk Tournament at the Westchester County Center in White Plains on Dec. 29, 2016. Ossining won 86-64.

Ossining’s Andra Espinoza-Hunter (2) drives the ball during the consolation game against Bishop Loughlin at the18th Annual Slam Dunk Tournament at the Westchester County Center. (Photo: LoHud)

When UConn girls basketball commit Andra Espinoza-Hunter announced she would leave Blair Academy after three seasons to play her final year of high school basketball at home in Ossining, New York, many were confused. Why would an athlete who had reached the apex of prep girls basketball honors — a scholarship to UConn — choose to mess with what got her there?

A big part of that answer may have become more clear on Saturday, when Espinoza-Hunter starred in a 91-70 blowout Ossining win against Gil St. Bernard … in front of her grandmother, who suffers from ALS. As if there was any question, Espinoza-Hunter led all scorers in the game with 48 points, more than half of her team’s total.

As reported by the Journal News, Espinoza-Hunter’s paternal grandmother, Mattie Hunter, had never been able to attend one of Espinoza-Hunter’s games as she fights against the onset of ALS. That all changed Saturday, when Hunter attended her granddaughter’s game while in a portable hospital bed.

Espinoza-Hunter was clearly motivated by her grandmother’s appearance, leading from the front in a one-sided win that may have gone some way toward justifying her return home after three hugely successful years at Blair Academy. Whether the elder Hunter is ever able to attend another game again, it’s clear that Espinoza-Hunter has already delivered on a promise by ensuring she was able to take in one performance in person.

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