MINERAL — Louisa County basketball coach Robert Shelton has called Xavien Hunter the most confident kid in his high school.
The senior standout has plenty to be proud of after he verbally committed to play both football and basketball at The Apprentice School in Newport News.
“Apprentice is just a life-changer,” Hunter said. “At such an early age and to be able to make money and do what I love is just amazing.”
The 5-foot-10 Hunter was an all-Jefferson District performer in both sports for the Lions this past season. He helped lead his team to regular season district titles in both sports and a berth in the Region 4B playoffs.
On the gridiron, Hunter served as a lockdown defensive back for a Lions defense that ranked among the best in the district. The senior posted seven defensive pass breakups and added an interception to garner All-Central Virginia honors.
Hunter’s dominance was also on display on the hardwood this winter. He averaged 19.6 points, four rebounds, two steals and two assists per game to lead Louisa County
back to the regional playoffs.
“Playing two sports is a big challenge, especially when you’re expecting to be dominant in both,” Hunter said. “It’s going to be a big challenge, but I’m preparing myself now. I want to be known for being a two-sport animal in high school and in college.”
The Louisa County product was impressed with the unique environment the Apprentice School had to offer.
“The program itself is just starting to develop the right way and the coaching staff for football and basketball just showed love and loved everything about me.,” Hunter said.
He also formed strong relationships with both coaching staffs.
“[Football] head coach John Davis really showed lot of respect to my family and I,” Hunter said. “The football coaches loved my athleticism and the way I could cover wide receivers.”
Hunter also was impressed with what Coach Tim Sparks has accomplished with the basketball program and is eager to be a part of it.
“The basketball coaches like everything about me,” Hunter said. “One of the things that stood out was my defense and shooting ability from three.”
The senior had interest from a number of programs during the recruiting process in both sports. Bridgewater, Shenandoah, Ferrum and Christopher Newport extended football offers to Hunter. In addition, he received basketball interest from Newberry, West Virginia Wesleyan and Hood College.
“This choice was very difficult because some Division II schools started to get in contact with me after the season,” Hunter said. “Great schools recruited me and treated me well, so it was a very hard choice.”
Hunter, who hopes to major in business marketing, said the opportunities provided at The Apprentice School, both academically and athletically, were too good to pass up.
“Free education separated Apprentice from other schools,” Hunter said. “Also, when I graduate, I won’t have to worry about any student loans. I feel like a lot of weight off my shoulders now and I’m just ready to work.”
With his college decision made, Hunter is excited for the next chapter to begin.
“My goals heading into the next level is to make an instant impact,” Hunter said. “But also, adjust and become more mature early.”