When the coaches from SMU took the time to get to know Feron Hunt’s mom, the DeSoto senior knew where he wanted to go.
But it was a long recruiting process.
Hunt held scholarship offers from TCU, UT-Arlington, Houston, Arkansas, Wichita State and others before committing to the Horned Frogs in September. He de-committed a month later.
“I de-committed from TCU in October because it wasn’t a great fit,” Hunt said. “SMU felt like home to me and I was very comfortable.”
“I think his family was really happy with the decision,” DeSoto coach Chris Dyer said.
A four-star prospect, Hunt is a 6-foot-8 forward for the Eagles. He committed and signed his National Letter of Intent in early November.
“I took my unofficial and they took the time to get to know my mom and that stood out to me and my parents,” Hunt said. “I’m ready to get up there in June.”
As a sophomore, DeSoto won the Class 6A state title. Last year, Hunt was voted second team all-district.
“SMU is getting a kid with a lot potential,” Dyer said. “He’s come a long way and has had some games this year where he’s totally dominated.”
The Eagles (13-3), ranked No. 11 in the state, edged out No. 6 South Garland in overtime 69-63 during the opening round of the Whataburger Boys Orange tournament on Thursday.
DeSoto advances to the quarterfinal round, 11 a.m. Friday to face defending 5A state champ Mansfield Timberview (13-3), which beat Katy Tompkins 59-58.
“It’s probably the best tournament during the holidays,” Hunt said.
In its 60th year, the Whataburger tournament has featured some of the best teams in the country and has been one of the top holiday tourneys in the state.
This year’s field features 14 state-ranked teams and 13 from Texas, including the past four winners: Denton Guyer, DeSoto, Little Rock Parkview (Arkansas) and South Grand Prairie.
“Every game is down to the wire with great teams and great players,” Hunt said.
Guyer is ranked No. 1 in Class 6A, and Waxahachie, Mansfield Timberview and Justin Northwest are the top three teams in 5A. Parkview has won 12 state titles in Arkansas.
The tournament also includes some of the top recruits.
Along with Hunt, there are two Oklahoma commits at the tournament in Jamal Bieniemy (Katy Tompkins) and Devion Harmon (Guyer); a TCU commit (Kendric Davis, Houston Sam Houston); Arkansas commit (Ethan Henderson, Parkview); and many more.
The difficult bracket allows teams the experience they need to finish district strong and gear up for a long playoff run.
“There’s no easy one,” Dyer said. “Everyone in here can play.”