Kevin Huerter sent the 76ers packing. Get to know the Hawks’ unlikely Game 7 hero


The Atlanta Hawks’ improbable postseason run continued after the young upstarts went into Philadelphia and took down the 76ers to advance to their first Eastern Conference finals since 2015.

While most expected Trae Young to take over, the Hawks’ point guard struggled, shooting 5 for 23 (including 2 for 11 from 3-point range) in scoring 21 points.

But it was an unlikely contributor for Atlanta that proved to be the difference. Kevin Huerter, the third-year player from Maryland, came up big, scoring a team-high 27 points in the 103-96 Game 7 win.

Atlanta Hawks’ Kevin Huerter, right, and Clint Capela celebrate during the final seconds of Game 7 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Here are a few fun facts about Huerter:

Huerter was a high school teammate of Atlanta Braves pitcher Ian Anderson

Huerter was an outfielder and Anderson was an ace hurler for Shenendehowa Central High School in Clifton Park, New York. The two led their team to a state baseball championship in 2016.

Speaking of baseball …

The Clifton Park Knights’ 14-year-old Babe Ruth Baseball League team fell just short of making the organization’s World Series in 2013.

Clifton Park lost to Tualatin Hills Oregon in the semifinal 7-2 in a game in which Huerter appeared as a relief pitcher.

According to The Saratogian, Huerter gave up a run on three hits, including walking one batter and striking out three.

Huerter’s father, Tom, managed that Clifton Park team.

And, coincidentally, Tom Huerter has a small part in NCAA Tournament history. He was a player on the 1989 Siena College squad that made the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. As a 14-seed, that Siena College team took down the third-seeded Stanford Cardinal 80-78 in the first round of the tournament.

Huerter wears No. 3 in honor of Dwyane Wade

During 2019 – Huerter’s rookie season, and former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade’s last – the Heat toppled the Hawks 114-113 in a game in March of that year.

Wade, who had been swapping jerseys after games Miami played throughout that season, sought out Huerter in the last game Wade played against the Hawks.

Story continues

“For as long as I can remember, me and my brother would wear his shoes when we were younger,” Huerter said after the game. “We’d watch his game. He was really one of the first NBA guys I looked up to.”

Sunday’s Game 7 performance was one that would likely make Wade proud.

“Obviously, us No. 3s got to stick together,” Wade said in March 2019. “But I’ve been watching this kid grow from the preseason on to now and I like his game. I think his game can go to another level as well. I always want to be someone that a player like that can count on, can reach out to. That was a cool moment for me.”

Huerter was the 50th ranked player in the 2016 class

Huerter was a four-star recruit when he committed to the University of Maryland in 2016. He was listed at 6’5″ and a rail-thin 170 pounds and ranked as the 50th best recruit in the class, according to ESPN.

ESPN’s scouting report said that “Huerter is long and lean shooting guard that is extremely skilled. He is a lights out shooter off the catch” and would need to add strength

The top five in that class: Harry Giles, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, Lonzo Ball and Bam Adebayo. Other notables in the class include De’Aaron Fox, Markelle Fultz, Miles Bridges and Jarrett Allen.

The Jerry West treatment

NBA Hall of Famer and current Clippers executive Jerry West isn’t the only player memorialized in a logo. Huerter carries that honor, albeit on a much smaller scale.

West’s silhouette is known to be the model for the NBA’s logo. After his career at Shenendehowa Central High School, Huerter’s silhouette of him going up for a one-handed dunk became the new logo of the school’s basketball program.

“In honor of your considerable accomplishments and outstanding contribution to the Shen Basketball Program over the past four years, the basketball program has designed a logo in your likeness,” the school said in a statement. “This logo will be a reminder of the legacy of excellence that you left behind for future Shen Basketball players.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kevin Huerter: Get to know the Hawks unlikely Game 7 hero



source

You might like

About the Author: nbanews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *