Groce has high hopes for basketball ‘transfer product’ Sammy Hunter


SAMMY Hunter and Akron Zips head coach John Groce.


Tribune Sports Reporter


HIGHLY sought after transfer product Sammy Hunter decided on the Akron Zips for the next step in his collegiate basketball journey and the defending Mid American Conference Champions have high expectations for their Bahamian signee.

“Sammy is a big addition to our frontcourt with a great motor that fits our style of play,” said Zips head coach John Groce.

“He can stretch the floor with his three-point shooting ability, attack the rim off the bounce and score in the post. Sammy’s size, strength and physicality allow him to impact the glass on both ends of the floor. We are excited to have Sammy in our programme.”

The Zips, coming off their first NCAA Tournament appearance in nine years, lost leading scorer Ali Ali and Bryan Trimble Jr to the transfer portal.

After three years with the Ole Miss Rebels, the 6’9” 225-pound Hunter entered his name into the transfer portal at the end of March and announced his decision on Akron the following week.

He has two years of eligibility remaining and joins fellow Bahamian national team member Garvin Clarke on the Zips roster.

The duo were both recently members of the senior men’s national team that finished 3-0 in San Salvador, El Salvador, to advance to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Americas Qualifiers.

Hunter came to Ole Miss as a consensus three-star prospect in 2019.

This past season, he played just over 10 minutes a game and averaged 2.9 points, and 1.2 rebounds per game in 29 appearances.

As a true freshman, he played in 27 games, primarily off the bench, averaging 12.1 minutes per game and averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.

As a sophomore, he appeared in 25 contests off the bench, averaging 2.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game.

He shot 48 percent from the field, 33 percent from beyond the arc. His sophomore season was highlighted by a career high 11 points in the Rebels’ 70-62 win over the Kentucky Wildcats and was amed to the SEC Winter Academic Honour Roll.

Prior to Ole Miss, Hunter concluded his prep basketball career at British Colombia Christian Prep and recognised as one of the top players in Canada.

As a senior for the Panthers, he averaged 27 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game and was named a BioSteel All-Canadian.

At the junior national team level, Hunter was also a member of the 2016 CBC U16 Championship team.

He averaged 12 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

And Hunter played on the 2017 Centrobasket Under-17 Championship team when he averaged 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.


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