By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
Sydney Hunter only needed to hear from one school to make her college decision.
The incoming McNary senior has verbally committed to play basketball at University of San Diego.
Hunter, who is still receiving calls and text messages from other colleges, didn’t plan to commit so early in the process.
“Maybe it was the beaches. I don’t know. But I loved it,” she said.
Hunter has been in contact with the coaches at San Diego since the eighth grade.
“I’ve known their coaches for a lot longer than any of the other coaches that have talked to me,” she said. “I went on my official visit and I got to meet the whole team and I just think I fit in super well. I loved it. That was a big part of it.”
San Diego plays in the West Coast Conference with the likes of Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara. The Lady Toreros finished 25-8 last season, which was the second most wins in program history, and lost to Michigan in the Sweet 16 round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Hunter isn’t completely sure what she wants to do academically but noted San Diego has a top-notch counseling program.
“You have to be so smart to go there so it’s going to be a challenge and I’m so excited for it,” she said.
Hunter was also busy this summer playing basketball.
Competing for Oregon Elite, Hunter traveled to the Western Canadian Championships in Vancouver, B.C., the Nike National Invitational in Chicago, the Nike Tournament of Champions in Atlanta and the Cal Storm Finale in Irvine, Calif.
“We had a really good season,” Hunter said. “I think we went 34-8. We played a lot of games and a lot of those girls I’ve played with since eighth grade so it was super fun to end AAU with all of them. It’s also kind of sad. All July we’re gone. You don’t really have a summer but it’s fun. You get to be with a lot of your close friends.”
Hunter will now turn her attention to volleyball before beginning her final basketball season at McNary, where she was a 2015-16 Greater Valley Conference First Team selection.