Jesse Hunt’s return from injury keys Eastern Washington’s success

first_imgWhen Jesse Hunt and his family moved from Geraldton, Australia to northern California before his freshman year of high school, they planned to stay for a few months.They wanted to “test it out” and see if Sir Francis Drake (Calif.) High School, his father’s alma mater, would help Hunt’s basketball recruitment. The ultimate hope was a professional career like his father, Daniel, who played 17 seasons for the Geraldton Buccaneers of the men’s State Basketball League in Australia.“‘If you guys want to play seriously, we’ve got to move,’” Hunt remembers his father said. “And so we came over here.”Eight years later, Hunt is still in the United States. He’s coming off a foot injury that derailed the best stretch of his Eastern Washington career last season, and is now tasked with filling production of the top scorer in Big Sky history, Bogdan Bliznyuk. His senior year starts with a game against No. 16 Syracuse on Tuesday night in the Carrier Dome.“Jesse might be a better shooter and more athletic (than Bogdan),” EWU head coach Shantay Legans said.  “Jesse’s gonna make energy and effort plays all over the court. Great defender and shot blocker.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLess than a decade ago, more than 8,000 miles away from Cheney, Washington, Hunt wasn’t even sure if basketball was what he wanted to pursue.Forced to choose between Australian-rules football and basketball, Hunt found he was “outside shooting basketballs more than kicking around the footie.”That convinced his father the family needed to move if Hunt wanted to take basketball seriously. And it meant going back to the place where his father established himself on the court, Sir Francis Drake High School.As a junior at Drake, Hunt attended a one-day EWU elite camp. Alex Pribble, the assistant coach recruiting Hunt, told him not to expect anything major from the camp, Hunt said. He was told to “show up and play,” but not to go out of his way and do anything special.Hunt obliged. But during a one-on-one drill on one of the side baskets, Hunt beat his man to the basket and scored. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. It was routine to him.Right after that bucket, the whistle blew and everyone took a water break, except for Hunt.Jim Hayford, the Eagles’ head coach at the time, stood at the center of Reese Court and motioned Hunt over to him. The two walked slowly toward the 3-point line, where Hayford told Hunt the words that he moved from Australia to hear.He was offered his first Division I scholarship. There were still six hours left in camp, though, so a quick run outside to call his parents was all the time he had. Their discussion about whether or not to accept it would come later.“I didn’t know what to do,” Hunt said. “When I got that first offer, it was bittersweet, almost.”Months later, the Australian accepted it and became an Eagle.As an EWU junior last season, Hunt was in the midst of his best stretch of the season, starting five-straight games and averaging 14.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. Then, before a Jan. 6 game against Sacramento State, he suffered an undisclosed foot injury.“It was one of those things to our team where it was like, ‘Damn, we’re losing depth, we’re losing athleticism,” Legans said.With Hunt playing sporadically the rest of the way, the Eagles made their third-straight College Basketball Invitational, a third-tier postseason tournament. Mason Peatling filled Hunt’s role and finished the season averaging 7.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.With Bliznyuk gone and a healthy Hunt this season, Legans sees the Eagles offense relying on a balanced scoring attack. With Hunt and Peatling manning the forward positions, there’s no need for one player to “throw it to and say ‘go.’”“This is my last year,” Hunt said. “I’m trying to do everything I can to get back to that level, if not exceed it.”Uncertainty has nearly derailed Hunt’s career. Eight years ago, Hunt wasn’t sure if he’d be in the U.S. longer than four months. Last season, he played one minute in his final outing. And as his senior season begins, its prospects are once again unknown. But for once, that’s the best part. Comments Published on November 6, 2018 at 8:08 am Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @CraneAndrewcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Harold Koehler, Wellington: January 24, 1936 – March 5, 2015

first_imgHarold KoehlerHarold Koehler, of Wellington, died Thursday, March 05, 2015 at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita,  at the age of 79.Harold was born the son of Johnny and Abbie (Feist) Koehler on Friday, January 24, 1936 in Manchester, . He graduated from St. Gregory High School in Shawnee,  and originally planned on becoming a priest but changed his mind. Harold went on to serve his country in the United States Army from 1955-1957.After college, he began his career in accounting and took a position with the Kerr McGee Oil Company in  City. His job allowed him to live overseas for 24 years. While overseas, he met Sue Huke and on July 21, 1979 Harold and Sue were united in marriage in Lowestoft, England. Together they celebrated 34 years of marriage before her death in 2011. Harold and Sue were blessed with two daughters: Alison and Debbie. Harold retired and returned to the USA for good in 1993. Following retirement, he drove a school bus and worked with his brother doing appliance repairs.Survivors include his daughters: Alison Lantrip and her husband Wesley of Bartlesville,  and Debbie Smith and her husband Kevin of Topeka, , grandchildren: Cameron, Blake and Natalie Smith, sister, Helen Blubaugh and her husband Leon of Danville, , brothers: Bobby Koehler of Ponca City,  and Cleo Koehler and his wife Roberta of Wellington, . He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, Sue Koehler and his siblings: Sylvester Koehler, Alfred Koehler, Tommy Koehler, Alice Collins and Dortha Johnson.Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday, March 9, 2015.Recitation of the Holy Rosary will begin at 7:00 p.m., Monday evening at St. Anthony/St. Rose Catholic Church, Wellington, .Funeral Mass for Harold will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at St. Anthony/St. Rose Catholic Church, Wellington, .Following cremation, a private interment will be held at the  Veterans Cemetery, Winfield, .A memorial fund has been established in his loving memory to the Avenue of Flags. Contributions may be mailed or left with the funeral home.To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit www.dayfuneralhome.info.Arrangements are by Day Funeral Home & Crematory, Wellington.last_img read more

Press Pass – Sunday, July 19

first_imgHost Matt Smith is joined in the studio by Michael Calvin and The Times’ Matt Hughes to discuss all the week’s sporting action.The guys discuss the biggest Premier League transfers of the week, including Fabian Delph’s Man City switch U-turn and Chelsea’s pursuit of Everton’s John Stones, plus England’s disastrous second Ashes Test defeat and all the latest from the 2015 Open Championship.There’s also all the latest transfer rumours from around Europe, with Gareth Bale thought to be on Man United’s radar, while Aston Villa are set to move for Emmanuel Adebayor to replace Liverpool-bound striker Christian Benteke.last_img