Eric Hunter was held in check, but he is a state champion.
The high-scoring Tindley guard said immediately after being held in check unlike any time in recent memory that what he felt most proud of was he showed his overall versatility and ability to do other things than score. Those other things helped the Tigers to the Class A state championship Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the first state title in any sport for Tindley.
“Every team we play, the attention on Eric Hunter and not letting him get shots is paramount,” Tindley coach Bob Worrell said. “You would see a lot of people in the state championship game say, maybe I need to start forcing or something. You never see that out of him. That is a real credit for him.”
He has little time to indulge in winning a title with his first AAU tournament a week away.
That, and he’s been busy chatting with college coaches, including Purdue’s Matt Painter.
Painter gave Hunter a phone call Thursday, the same day the Boilermakers’ season ended at the hands of Kansas in the Sweet 16. Painter was in attendance Saturday, sitting under the basket for the Class A state championship.
“The relationship is good there and with coach (Brandon) Brantley, the main one recruiting me,” said Hunter, who made unofficial visits this season for the Villanova and Minnesota games at Mackey Arena. “I like how they spread the floor. I am a playmaker and they want guys like me or E’Twaun Moore or Carsen Edwards who can make plays and score when I have to.”
In addition to Purdue, Hunter said Butler, Xavier, Minnesota, Maryland, Temple and Nebraska are in the mix.