A 12-foot jumper from the left wing.
It’s a shot that Friends’ Central senior De’Andre Hunter has taken and made many times. On Dec. 5 against Hill School in a contest played at Westtown School as part of the MAPL-FSL challenge, that shot took on a whole new meaning when Hunter took a pass from Antone Walker and buried the shot that marked career points 999 and 1,000.
“It means a lot,” said Hunter, who finished the game with 21 points and eight rebounds. “Spending my four years at Friends’ Central where I have gotten better each year with help from my coaches reaching 1,000 career points means a lot. I am a family oriented person. Having my family here to share in this achievement makes it even better.”
“Scoring a thousand points is an individual milestone that De’Andre will appreciate more with the passage of time,” said coach Ryan Tozer, who also scored 1,000 career points at Friends’ Central. “He’s a young man that shuns the spotlight and just wants to win. As the years pass and he reflects on his career he’ll take great pride in this achievement.”
Tozer added, “All of us at Friends’ Central are happy for De’Andre and his family. The scholarship to Virginia and his individual achievements are the result of many sacrifices made by De’Andre, his Mom and his brother Aaron. Hours upon hours of individual skill work have gone into making De’Andre a student athlete worthy of a basketball scholarship to an ACC school. What many don’t see is the behind the scenes commitment his family made to get him to gyms across the city, help him through his rehab from his leg injury that kept him from playing his sophomore season. These are exciting times for all of us around De’Andre and certainly special moments for him and his family.
Hunter became the 13th player in school history to eclipse 1,000 career points joining McCurdy, former teammate Jonathan Lawton along with alumni Mike Cook, Latifah McMullin, Tozer, Deb Charamella, Mustafa Shakur, Aaliyah Powell, Talia East, Devin Coleman and Amile Jefferson in the exclusive club.
Although Hunter is in his senior year, he achieved the milestone in essentially two years after missing his sophomore year due to a broken leg suffered in a fall league game.
Missing his sophomore year allowed Hunter to gain a different perspective when he returned to action.
“Getting injured turned out to be a blessing in disguise,” Hunter said. “Watching the game gave me a new perspective watching what different players did offensively and defensively. It made me work harder and get back to where I was when I was a freshman.”
Hunter’s intrigue for the game started at the impressionable age of eight years old thanks in large part to his father, Aaron and older brother Aaron Jr. where he would go and watch them play.
In fifth grade, Hunter was a tall, lanky kid started working out with his brother. As he continued to work with his brother, he would improve each year and his desire for the game fueled his passion to improve.
In addition to playing at Friends’ Central, Hunter also played AAU basketball for the Philly Aztecs as well as the Philly Pride.
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