Jackson State's former hardwood standout, Lindsey Hunter was named as the interim head coach for the Phoenix Suns Sunday. But his road to professional success was paved during his collegiate playing days at Jackson State.
After being named the Southwestern Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 1989 while at Alcorn State, Hunter then transferred to Jackson State. Despite being at JSU for only three seasons he scored 2,226 points as a Tiger and is second only to Purvis Short in the JSU record books. As a senior he was the fifth best scorer in the nation when he averaged 26 points per game and the Tigers recorded a 25-9 record. That season the Tigers won the SWAC regular season championship.
As a Tiger, Hunter was named an All-SWAC performer as well as being named to the SWAC All-Tournament team in 1992 and 1993. But he is perhaps best known for leading JSU past the U Conn Huskies in the 1993 National Invitational Tournament (NIT). Prior to the '93 NIT, JSU had never played in a DI postseason game. According to reports U Conn head coach Jim Calhoun advised his team that no lead would be safe against Hunter and JSU.
After scoring only five points in the first half, Hunter caught fire and finished with 39 points in the 90-88 overtime upset. He scored nine of JSU's 10 points in OT.
During the summer heading into his senior season, Hunter could be seen spending endless hours in the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center shooting jump shots, performing passing drills and working on his ball handling skills by weaving between chairs he placed on the arena floor.
Following his collegiate career, Hunter was selected as the 10th overall pick in the 1993 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons. He would go on to play 14 seasons in the NBA and win two championships - first with the Lakers (2002) and the second with the Pistons (2004).
Hunter is a Jackson, MS native and attended Murrah High School.