Holton Hunsaker, now in his third year as a Wolverine, is now considered the leader in the locker room for this new basketball team head coach Dick Hunsaker has put together.
“I look for [his leadership] to be improved on simply through experience and more confidence,” Dick said of Holton. “His ability to deal with those different looks, I feel he can get us seamlessly adjusted.”
But it wasn’t planned this way. Growing up in the Hunsaker home, sports was always a big deal. With Dick coaching for 30 years, it was no wonder that Holton was into basketball himself.
“It was never discussed,” Holton said when asked about playing for his dad. “It was never planned. I never thought of it, actually. It just worked out and I was lucky to have that happen.”
Before playing at UVU, Holton signed with Louisiana Tech University right out of high school before going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Fiji. When he came back, he found a new home with the Wolverines at Utah Valley. Now, with Isaiah Williams and Geddes Reobinson gone, the Wolverines turn to him in hopes that he guides them to victories and maybe even a championship.
“[My role] changes from game to game,” Holton said. “I think over the course of the season, it’ll be to direct and orchestrate the team.”
In the past two years, Holton has become a household name at UVU, posting up great numbers his freshman and sophomore years. His first year at UVU, Holton earned a Great West All-Conference honorable mention as a freshman, averaging 11.1 points a game and 3.2 assists. Hunsaker has also shown great free throw talent, shooting 85.5 percent in his first year and 87.2 percent in his second.
Holton now leads a veteran-heavy team with players like Ben Aird and Nick Thompson turning to him for direction. WIth their final year in the GWC, it might be the most important year for this team to have a leader as it looks to grab the GWC championship before moving over to the Western Athletic Conference next season.
This will be Dick’s 11th season with the Wolverines, but his third coaching his son as a Wolverine. Unexpected might be an understatement.
“I didn’t have predetermined expectations,” Dick said. “Sports was always a big thing in my household. I just feel very fortunate and blessed as a father to see him play basketball.”
Alex Rivera is the assistant sports editor of the UVU Review. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his Twitter account @A_River_Uh.