As Dominique Hunter ends her four-year basketball career at San Francisco State University, she is moving on to bigger and better things.
Hunter, 21, played center and became a contributor for the Gators during her first year. She played in all games her freshman season, but most impressively she cracked the lineup and started in 23 of 28 games.
That year she led SF State women’s basketball team with 54 blocks and was awarded with the Academic All-CCAA for her outstanding performance in the classroom.
“No one expected me to have such a good freshman season,” Hunter said.
Her four-year collegiate career has been made possible by her consistent performance year after year.
Hunter helped her team reach the first round of the California Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball Championship in the 2009-2010 season.
This past season she posted career bests in average points per game, 12.8, and average rebounds per game, 11.8; both of which were team highs. She also led the team with 37 minutes of playing time per game and 64 total blocks.
Those numbers resulted in Hunter being named 2010-2011 Female Athlete of the Year and being selected for the 2011 All-CCAA Women’s Basketball first team.
Hunter said she is proud of those two accomplishments but said the best part of her experience at SF State were the bonds developed between teammates.
“I’m going to miss the teammates that became my sisters,” Hunter said.
The 6-foot-1-inch San Francisco native said she was not interested in sports prior to the eighth grade, but decided to try basketball after her family pointed out her tall frame would be an advantage.
“Over time, I grew a passion for it,” Hunter said.
She said the sport has helped her become mentally tough and discover how competitive she is.
“I didn’t think I had that competitiveness in me until I started playing basketball,” Hunter said.
After graduating from Gateway High School, Hunter was recruited by SF State head coach Joaquin Wallace, who visited her home and spoke with her mother. That visit played a key role when it came time for Hunter to decide on which school to attend.
Hunter said Wallace’s honesty when recruiting her was also important. The head coach made it clear she would have to earn a starter role on the team.
After graduating, Hunter plans to pursue a professional basketball career and is trying out for teams in the United States as well as overseas. Hunter said going overseas would be ideal because she has always wanted to travel.
Hunter explained that finding a place to play after college is different than coming out of high school because pro teams do not reach out to students like schools do when they are recruiting players.
“It takes a lot of work and money,” Hunter said.
Hunter will be graduating with a degree in business management this spring and is applying to master programs in case she is not selected to play on a professional team.
She said she considers herself lucky for having two great options after SF State, and is eager to pursue a master’s degree in sports management.
The Gators will miss Hunter, their team captain, who finishes her career at SF State with 900 rebounds, 200 blocks and 1,000 points scored.