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All-North Div. I boys basketball: Myers' trust in Tigers pays dividends (watch video)


1:00 AM, Mar. 17, 2013 EDT

Douglas' Hunter Myers was Northern Nevada's most skilled, most dynamic player this year, as evidenced by the numerous college suitors he flirted with in the fall.

But unlike many other best players, Myers was a team-player first.

Smart enough to get into Harvard, where next season he'll join the back-to-back NCAA Tournament-bound Crimson, Myers understood the Tigers would not reach their full potential as a one-man team.

"What made him so special was he used the guys around him to make himself better and make the team better," Douglas coach Corey Thacker said.

With Myers in tow, preseason expectations were high for Douglas. But when things didn't start smoothly -- the Tigers lost four of their first seven games -- Myers stayed the course. Sometimes the outcome at the final buzzer was unpleasant. But Douglas closed the regular season on a 13-game winning streak.

"I didn't come into the season with personal expectations, other than to get better and get myself ready for D-I ball," the 6-foot-7 Myers said. "I don't think about my impact on Douglas but Douglas' impact on me."

Myers still accumulated impressive stats. He averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game and is the 2012-13 RGJ All-North Division I Player of the Year.

"He trusted everyone else around him," Thacker said. "That made me respect him more and was what carried our team. He could have averaged 28 points per game but was willing to give up certain things, like scoring more, in order for his team to be successful."

That team success resulted in a second straight Sierra League title, though the Tigers bowed out of the regional playoffs on a first-round buzzer-beater.

"It definitely ended earlier than we wanted," said Myers, who led Douglas in scoring each of the past three seasons and finished second on the school's career scoring list with 1,501 points. "But my teammates is the thing that sticks out the most about this season. We made leaps and bounds as a team and made a lot of memories. That didn't really hit me until the season was over, and it didn't really hit me that the season was over until the day after we lost and there wasn't a practice to go to."

Myers' unselfishness resulted in some muffled stats as a junior and thus some surprise in the region from those not closely tied to the basketball community when Myers committed to Harvard in October.

"Even in our community down here, it was kind of the same way his first couple years," Thacker said. "Guys were coming out just to watch him play this year, even at home games there were more people.

"The impact he made, even without scoring all the points, was still a draw for people."

That draw is now headed across the country -- most likely after he picks up Douglas' valedictorian honor.

"There is not one single thing we're going to miss with Hunter," Thacker said. "We're going to miss his defensive presence inside, his ability to score inside and create offense from the perimeter, his leadership, how he would show up 45 minutes to an hour early to every practice.

"We're going to miss it all."

 

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