Last year Holton Hunsaker started his college career as the UVU men’s basketball team point guard. As a freshman he started all 30 games and garnered 95 assists. The 6-foot sophomore from Woods Cross high school will come back again this year to start as the Wolverines’ starting point guard.
Hunsaker continues to exemplify himself as a leader and a successful player on the team. In a rare time when his father, Dick Hunsaker, is the coach, Holton says that proving himself as a player is the key to potential negative outlooks of the father-son, coach-player relationship.
“We’ll say there’s no favoritism being the coach’s son,” Holton said. “But I think it’s in the back of people’s mind a little bit.”
It’s a subject that can easily be stuck in a fan’s perception. Holton’s the starting point guard and Dick is the coach. Even if fans were unaware of their same last name, Dick and Holton’s parallel looks would give it away with just a passing glance. On game night, however, it’s coach and player, nothing less and nothing more.
According to Dick, Holton offers traits to the team that are essential to success. Holton would play the same regardless of who he was playing for. His ability to guide, organize and direct the team are characteristics of a player that Dick wants as a point guard, a position that conveys coach-like attributes on the court.
Dick stated that these key features that Holton portrays stems from Holton’s mother.
“That’s his mother,” Dick said in regards to Holton’s ability to lead. “Not my son, the mother’s son.”
Holton agrees to the extent of offering mother-like features when it comes to looking out for his teammates, but he credits his father as the contributor to his on-court aggression.
“My dad is very driven and very competitive,” Holton said. “That’s how I take it out on the court. I don’t like the thought of someone else working harder than me.”
Holton’s drive and competitiveness are evident on the court and though the traits are traced back to his father, Holton says he will always strive to lead by example first. He is motivated from watching his teammates work hard, having a personality which leads him to work as hard as the rest of the team.
Holton expressed gratitude for his teammates as they refrain from even jokingly attempting stabs at the relationship. Last year he was named Great West All-Conference Honorable Mention while leading the team in steals. According to the statistics, there simply isn’t room for any cliché attacks that might be directed to father-and-son ties.
Holton is able to utilize his talents as an individual and lead the team by setting a standard and being an example. It’s his first priority before stepping out onto the court in order to make his team and Dick Hunsaker proud, as a coach and a father.
“I do feel like I’m Holton out there and not Dick’s son,” Holton said.
By KEVIN OLSEN