Doubling up on college sports

Xavien Hunter drives through the defense during a home game in his senior season with the Lions. Next year, he will be playing football and basketball for The Apprentice School in Newport News. File photo

 

Xavien Hunter has been a contributor to the Louisa Lions’ varsity football and basketball teams for the past several seasons. Next year he plans to take his talents in both sports to college.

In March, Hunter verbally committed to play basketball and football for The Apprentice School in Newport News, where he plans to study business management.

“It’s one of the best opportunities anyone could ever ask for,” he said. “You can compete at a great competitive level.”

Hunter began playing both sports at a young age, but stopped playing football after breaking his wrist in a four-wheeler accident at the age of 10. At the urging of his cousin Jarett Hunter and Louisa County High School head football Coach Will Patrick, he joined the Lions in the fall of his junior year.

“I always wanted to play [football] again, and I fell in love with the game after a great off-season,” he said. “Playing for Louisa has always been a dream. The community treats you differently and the brotherhood and bond [with the other players] is the best ever.”

Hunter’s talents really shone during his senior season, which saw him pull down 17 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns. He made the All-Jefferson District roster on both sides of the ball and was named to the second team as a receiver and the first team as a defensive back.

Even when he wasn’t playing football, Hunter was still very active in the game of basketball, playing through the Louisa County Parks and Recreation league and on several travel teams before playing for the high school squad. During his last year with the Lions, he averaged nearly 20 points a game, including his 1,000th career point in front of a home crowd in The Den. He also averaged four rebounds, two steals and two assists each time he took the court. 

Those averages helped him lead the team to a second consecutive Jefferson District championship and into a second Region 4B tournament. He also earned spots on the all-district and all-region first-team rosters.

As with football, the community support and his bond with his teammates are chief among the highlights from Hunter’s time with Louisa basketball. He is anxious to continue playing both sports in college.

“My love for both sports is unexplainable,” he said. “I know I can do both and be successful. I just have to prepare my body for it, but I’m used to that.” 

Hunter will be taking several lessons from both Patrick and basketball Coach Robert Shelton as he moves to the next level of competition.

“[They taught me] to never give up or let someone else show you up, and to grind and give it your all,” he said.

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