Georgia State Panthers men’s basketball head coach Ron Hunter will coach barefoot during the team’s Colonial Athletic Association contest against the William & Mary Tribe on Wednesday, January 16 to show his support to the charity that distributes shoes to impoverished children worldwide.
Ironically, Hunter’s son, R.J. Hunter might not be wearing his normal footwear during the game as well—potentially rocking dress shoes instead of basketball kicks. Hunter, the team’s standout freshman suffered a foot injury late in the Panthers’ 86-83 loss to the Delaware Blue Hens on Saturday, January 12.
The following Monday, Hunter’s MRI’s were fortunately negative for a stress fracture, but the coach’s son has still be labeled a game-time decision for GSU’s matchup against the Tribe.
For the Panthers (6-11, 1-3), a team that’s lost six of their last seven games, losing Hunter would be an absolutely devastating blow. Not only is Hunter leading the team in scoring at 15.9 points per game, but he is also second on the team in rebounds, at 5.9 per game, as well. Hunter also leads all CAA freshmen in both categories as well.
Thus far, in the 2012-2013 season, Hunter has played like the runaway candidate for CAA Rookie of the Year. But, if with his father’s competitive streak, it’s clear that R.J. cares more about winning for his team than receiving individual recognition.
While the freshman’s presence on the court is seemingly necessary for the Panthers to win on Wednesday, it may be in Georgia State’s best interest to rest their star for down the road. Following their matchup with William & Mary, the Panthers will play Old Dominion, Towson, UNCW and Drexel all in the span of a week, between January 19 and 26.
Whether Hunter can play Wednesday or not, all might already be lost in Georgia State’s final regular season stint in the CAA before leaving for the Sun Belt.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Correspondent for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @JakeLFischer.