Indiana basketball star won’t be recruited by new Georgia State coach

Prediction for RJ Hunter

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Georgia State’s new coach “refuses” to recruit one of Indiana’s top college basketball prospects for 2012. He was laughing when he said it.

Pike High School’s RJ Hunter has around a dozen early scholarship offers, including Wake Forest, Iowa, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt and Oregon State.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard was recently offered a scholarship from Georgia State, where father Ron Hunter was hired as coach earlier this month.

It comes with complications.

“I will not recruit my own son,” Hunter told the AJC. He will delegate that responsibility to his top assistant, Darryl LaBarrie. (Talk about some pressure)

“From the first day I got to Georgia State, I told Labarrie that he will be recruiting RJ and I will be recruiting the mom. Hopefully, between the two of us, we can get it done for Georgia State.”

Hunter decided to take the indirect recruiting approach after talking with other college coaches who had basketball prospects as sons.

“When I watch RJ play in high school, the one thing I always ask him right after a game is: Do you want me to be Dad or a coach? If it’s Dad, then I will hug and kiss him and tell he’s going to get better. If he wants me to be a coach, then it will be constructive criticism and talking about how to improve his game.

“With the recruiting process, RJ has seen it all before because of my coaching career. I want him to enjoy the recruiting process. I just refuse to recruit him. I’m after the mother, and I think she enjoys me recruiting her a little bit.”

However, Hunter did offer a scouting report on his son: “He knows how to play. He’s [almost 6-6] and a kid that can really shoot it. Just the typical coach’s kid with solid fundamentals. He has to work on his strength.

Ron Hunter "refuses" to directly recruit his son for Georgia State but he's wooing the mother (Photo courtesy of Georgia State)

Ron Hunter "refuses" to directly recruit his son for Georgia State but he's wooing the prospect's mother (Photo courtesy of Georgia State)

“I think he could probably play in any conference in the country. So hopefully he will play in the CAA.”

The CAA’s members include — no surprise — Georgia State.

Iowa, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest are the leaders, according to his father. “Those are the three he really likes. Hopefully, that has changed a little bit to include one more school, since his Dad has taken a job at Georgia State.”

Hunter flew to Indianapolis this past weekend to visit his son, who was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot. RJ was fitted with a walking boot and will have to use crutches for the next five weeks.

“He did it in the state basketball tournament and didn’t tell me because he knew I would probably want him to sit out,” Hunter said. “We’re going to keep him off it for awhile. And that means he’ll probably miss most of the summer with his AAU stuff. He may get back in time for a little bit of AAU in late July but we may hold him out of all of it so he can have a productive senior year in high school.”

Where will that high school be? There was speculation that RJ may transfer to a Georgia high school for his senior year. In fact, both RJ and his father were in favor of the transfer.

“We finalized everything on Sunday night; well, his mom did,” Hunter said with a laugh. “RJ and his father were completely vetoed. This was his mom’s decision and I think it was probably the best decision. She did it for academic reasons more than anything else.”

Hunter’s mother informed Pike school officials on Monday morning that he would be returning for his senior year.

Do your OWN scouting report on RJ Hunter. Go 52 seconds into the video below.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog


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31 comments Add your comment


April 26th, 2011
6:34 am

Hopefully he will elect to come the GSU and help his dad rebuild the program. Oh yeah: First!!!

Dawg Consultant

April 26th, 2011
7:09 am

So far, Hunter has brought a lot more energy and interest in Georgia State Basketball (can’t believe I am writing this) than the new Tech coach has brought to North Ave. If he says his son is a keeper, I hope they get the kid.


April 26th, 2011
8:46 am

Ouch… tough spot for the kid. He’s got offers at big name schools and sounds like he has the pick of the litter. But you know there is some silent pressure to sign with his dad. Hope it works out for him.

Clueless @ the AJC

April 26th, 2011
9:11 am

Compared to the clowns coaching football and basketball at Georgia and Georgia Tech this Coach seems cool. I hope he can back it up on the court unlike the coaches at the other two programs just mentioned.


April 26th, 2011
9:23 am

clueless needs a blankie and a nap.

Mark fox is clueless?

The man is rebuilding a basketball program that was almost completely shut down by a crook and his son. It will take more than 2 years.

Where did you ever play or coach that makes you such a dam expert?


April 26th, 2011
10:11 am

So is the kid transferring to GA for his Senior year or not? It didn’t really say, only that they informed Pike, which would be pointless if they are staying I guess.


April 26th, 2011
10:31 am

Did the coach violate NCAA rules regarding commenting on a recruit? :)

Reminds me of the stories surrounding John Elway’s recruiting. His dad, Jack, was coaching at San Jose St. When asked about recruiting John, someone asked Jack if he had offered John a car to come to SJSU. Jack responded something to the effect of “No, but I threatened to take one away”. Jack also said that he offered to sleep with John’s mom to get him to SJSU. John eventually went to Stanford. I think he even played a little pro football.


April 26th, 2011
10:43 am

RJ is staying in Indiana because he can likely win a state title with Pike. GSU just offered his PG Zavier Turner (featured in that video) for 2013.

@Sam No Coach Hunter didn’t violate the rule because that’s his son. He has a previous relationship considering he raised him.

RJ has a legit shot to win Mr. Basketball in the state of Indiana which could likely bring offers from Kentucky and Indiana. I’d love to have him in the Sports Arena but I will understand if he goes to a much bigger school.

I believe Coach Hunter’s approach to recruiting as a whole will make us a factor with many recruits that previously didn’t have us on their radar.

Violation Police

April 26th, 2011
10:43 am

Isn’t there rules against coaches publicly comenting on recruits who haven’t signed a LOI? Thanks AJC for printing such a blatant violation. I’m sure the NCAA will come calling once they get to the bottom of the Cam story in about five years or so.


April 26th, 2011
11:46 am

if he came to ga where would he go. Bet Ga coaches are trying their best t get him.


April 26th, 2011
11:48 am

If he’s staying at Pike then it was absolutely pointless to inform the school of his decision.

D Ole Hoops Coach

April 26th, 2011
12:04 pm

If you look at the video, the first player is the Hawk’s Jeff Teague’s younger brother, who is an excellent prospect in his own right. Coach’s son looks good, though I would like to see him not begin his jump shot from the chest—like Jeff Teague does. It takes a lot of space to get your shot off that way.


April 26th, 2011
1:17 pm

FYI: GT is looking to replace a 6′5″ shooting guard. He would be close by and be playing in the ACC.

scouting report

April 26th, 2011
1:58 pm

he shoots from his chin, which will cause a few blocked shots, and on the last layup, he didn’t go with his left hand, opening himself up to the defense.


April 26th, 2011
2:10 pm

I can’t blame the kid if he decides to go elsewhere, but this would be a tremendous get for State if it does happen


April 26th, 2011
2:14 pm

@BuzzGT If he’s coming to Atlanta, it will be to play for his Dad. There is no way he plays for another Atlanta school. Daddy will not allow it.


April 26th, 2011
2:20 pm

and why would he go to GSU…. I mean, really…


April 26th, 2011
3:08 pm

If he is that good he needs to go someplace better than Ga State.

If he is good enough for Iowa and Wake he is certainly good enough for UGA. Go to Athens young man we can always use a good , big,fundamentally sound guard.


April 26th, 2011
4:38 pm

If he’s coming to GA the metro high school recruiting machines will kick into high gear…oh yeah they don’t recruit…


April 26th, 2011
7:05 pm

Kid would be an IDIOT to go to GSU over the schools he has offered from.. If Hunter is a good father at all he will advise his son to a big time program.. As a parent I don’t know how you could possibly try to convince them to come to GSU over those other programs..

Reeks of selfishness.. Do whats best for the kid dad.. Not yourself


April 26th, 2011
8:21 pm

Has Ga State ever generated 21 comments on a blog before now?

GSU = Georgia STATE University,

April 26th, 2011
8:26 pm

Go Panthers!!

April 26th, 2011
8:50 pm

Some kids like to be the start of something big, rather than just another cog in the machine.

Our football team did a good job recruiting kids who were attracted to that unique challenge.

Coach Hunter is self-admittedly one of those types of personalities who likes building things.

Would it be any surprise if his son was the same way?

German Shepherd Dawg

April 26th, 2011
8:58 pm

New Tech coach? They hired somebody? Oh yeah, I forgot.

Not a good sign.

GSU = Ga Southern

April 26th, 2011
9:44 pm

25 comments on this blog

April 26th, 2011
9:45 pm

That is the same number of fans that usually attends their games. I wonder if it is the same 25?


April 27th, 2011
12:13 am

What games have you gone to? You sure that wasn’t a georgia southern game?

Dawg Tired

April 27th, 2011
9:45 am

Wait Tila Commercial

April 29th, 2011
10:50 pm

It is but ethical for Coach Ron to “not” involve himself in recruiting his son into his team so there’s no bias in the recruitment process.

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