A 6-5 freshman wins a 6-4 trophy

Posted: June 01, 2013

DeAndre Hunter, a 6-foot-5 freshman forward from Friends' Central, said he wants to go to Syracuse for college. It is an easy choice, as Hunter said it is his dream school.

The tougher question Friday night was where Hunter was going to put the oversize, 6-foot-4 trophy he won at the All-City Classic at Girard College.

"I just hope I can fit it in the car," he said.

Hunter scored 10 points, was a solid ball distributor, and showed range with a pair of three-pointers. His light-blue team exchanged leads before falling to the white team, 78-70, in the loosely played freshman all-star game.

With a minute left, Hunter received a pass in transition and extended for an emphatic, one-handed, tomahawk slam.

"I just wanted to get a dunk in the all-star game," Hunter said. "I tried to jump as high as I could."

He averaged 12 points last season at Friends' Central and has received early interest from Penn State and Xavier. The Orange, who have yet to inquire, play an up-tempo system that fits Hunter's strengths, he said.

His play as a freshman drew quick comparisons to former Phoenix forward and current Duke player Amile Jefferson. But Hunter said he is not interested in being labeled "the next Jefferson."

"I want to be better than him," he said.

Hunter is working on his conditioning and dribbling throughout the summer with former Franklin Learning Center star and NBA player Sean Colson. Hunter said he will be faster and stronger next season.

Priscilla Hunter, his mother, watched from the top row of the bleachers as her son accepted the tall trophy as his team's most valuable player.

"I was just thinking, 'Where are we going to put that?' " she said.

It likely will find a place in their Lawncrest living room, she said, along with his other awards.

Notable. Wayne Ellington, who sponsored the 18th annual event, was honored by organizer Charles "Shoob" Monroe along with Inquirer staff writer Keith Pompey.

Contact Matt Breen at mbreen@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @matt_breen.

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