For 17 years Lindsey Hunter made a living in the NBA as a point guard running offenses in Detroit, Los Angeles, Toronto and Chicago. The Mississippi native has a high school state championship and two NBA championships in his achievement chest of honors. But this past weekend the father of four got to be a part of something that topped them all – watching and help coach two of his sons as they helped win their first ever high school state basketball championship.
His sons, senior Lindsey III and sophomore Lindsey IV, helped lead Southfield Christian School to a 24-2 record and its first Michigan Class D state championship, and Lindsey – he’s not II but junior – was on the sidelines as an assistant coach. He’s been coaching at the school since his sons were in middle school. Head coach Josh Baker, in his first year, met “junior” at the school last year and Hunter put a “full-court” press on him to come to the school and lead the team. And he’s glad to have “junior” on the bench.
“He’s incredible,” Baker said. “Late in some games I handed him the clipboard and said, ‘here, you got it. Draw up whatever you want or whatever we need to do defensively’. He’s an incredible help.”
Hunter’s impressive offensive and defensive mind come from hanging out with coaches such as Phil Jackson so Baker understands how to use the former pro’s skills.
“In either area he’s 100 times better than me,” Baker said. “When he teaches individual defense on how to guard screens, on how to guard pick-and-rolls – honestly, I would sit there in awe everyday.”
But Hunter doesn’t break open NBA stories in front of the kids but focuses on fundamentals. When breaking down film with coaches, he relies on his NBA knowledge and history.
“When I show him an action that another team has run he’ll be like, ‘yeah, that’s what the Mavericks run with Dirk all the time and here’s what they do’ or ‘they ran that with Kobe all the time with the Lakers’. That’s just a different world to me. He’s been very kind and encouraging to me. He never makes you feel like an idiot.”
The Hunter’s chose Southfield Christian to give their kids a well-rounded education and give them a foundation to help them succeed in life.
“We wanted a place that was more diversified and Southfield Christian has every nationality you can possibly think of,” he explained. “And that was the type of place we wanted to have our kids. We didn’t want one or the other, we wanted everything. That’s the way – as a Christian – how God sees everybody, not just white or black. It was what we wanted our kids to be exposed to.”
In addition to providing the best education, “junior” likes helping everyone succeed in basketball. Hunter simply loves the sport.
“I’m a basketball fanatic and I work with kids from our high school and surrounding high schools and middle schools and even elementary kids,” Hunter said. “I do a lot of development – even with pre-school kids. It’s really been a joy to watch. It’s not work for me. Basketball has been my life for so long its just second nature to be involved with kids and help them develop. And not only on the court but to take the lessons and use them in life.”
And just where does the newest championship rate with “junior”?
Right at the top.
“Any time you can see your kid do something, it’s not like anything else,” he explained. “It’s not like any feeling in the world. When you see them succeed and achieve something that’s special to them, it melts your heart. It’s the only thing that irreplaceable in life. You only get to be a parent once. They grow up and they move out and they become adults and that childhood is over. You really cherish those moments.”
Lindsey Hunter, Jr. – NBA pro and all-star dad.
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