Nothing but net for Jessica Hunt
LONGMEADOW, Mass.—Bay Path College Wildcats’ Jessica Hunt ’10 marked two milestones in her collegiate basketball career this season by sinking her 1,000th point for the maroon and white and breaking the Wildcats all-time scoring record. Grand feats for the co-captain and forward/center, Hunt recognizes her accomplishments were a team effort.
“The Wildcats are a team and without the support of my friends, especially co-captain Sarah Wright, and the guidance of our coach R.J. Toner, these goals wouldn’t have happened,” said Hunt. “They’re the ones who encourage me to give it my all.”
The youngest Wildcat in Bay Path basketball history to reach the momentous marks, Hunt landed the 1,000-point shot from the free-throw line during the first-half of an away game at Southern Vermont College (SVC) in Bennington, VT. The first of two free throws, the pause in play allowed her teammates on the court to briefly gather and congratulate the student-athlete on her achievement before the official announcement. During half-time, the Wildcats honored Jessica with the game ball and a bouquet of flowers. “I knew I would be making the 1,000th basket during the game, but I wasn’t aware the first free-throw was ‘the shot’ until my teammates came to the center and hugged me,” said Hunt. “It was a wonderful surprise.”
The Wildcats season also ended with a bang as Hunt broke the College’s seven-year-old, all-time scoring record during the team’s last game of the season. Leading up to the home game against Becker College, she only needed 11 points to surpass Bay Path alumna Melissa Palmer’s record of 1,166 points. Hunt scored the “breaking” point during the second half, and finished the season with 1,175 points.
A regular on the Dean’s List, Hunt is majoring in general psychology, which she credits for strengthening her role as a team player. Through her coursework, she has come to appreciate and relate to her teammates, which ultimately reinforces their bond as a team. Assistant Professor of Psychology Dave Wallace, who is one of Hunt’s professors as well as the faculty athletic representative, acknowledges Hunt’s dedication to her work on and off the court. “Jessica is a fantastic person who goes well beyond what’s expected of her. She puts the time in to balance practice, sports, and school, and it shows in her enthusiastic attitude in her classes as well as on the court,” said Dr. Wallace.
Hunt is the first to comment on the team’s ability to compete against much larger schools in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC), and giving their opponents a run for their money. “When we play, we play hard and a good game,” she said.
Wildcats Coach R.J. Toner agrees. “When our Wildcats arrive for a game, they’re not going to leave with their heads hanging down,” he said. “Sarah and Jessica are extremely good leaders, who understand the commitment to a team, and they are the first to say, ‘We’re not going home unless we can battle!’”
With nearly 60 Bay Path basketball games behind her, Hunt is looking forward to her senior year and last year of college sports. “We’re setting our sights on the 2009-2010 season,” said Hunt. “Many of our players are returning next season and over the last three years, we’ve built a team that is ready to play at a higher level of competition.”