Time dwindles for CWU seniors
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After a promising beginning to the season and a disappointing middle of the season, the CWU men’s basketball team still have hopes to win their last home game of the season against Simon Fraser Saturday before their season ending trip to Alaska and Alaska-Anchorage.
The Wildcats began the season 12-3 and have since lost eight in a row in the GNAC and now sit in eighth place in the conference. With hopes for making the GNAC tournament dwindling, senior guards Terry Dawn and Dom Hunter and senior forward Chris-Michael Garret are focusing on knowing it’ll be their last home game.
“It gives me a feeling of nostalgia,” Garret said. “I don’t know how to explain it, but I’m just trying to enjoy the moment.”
Garret transferred to CWU from Green River Community College in 2015, and has played with a great amount of effort as a lengthy defender in the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons. He’s averaged 3.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 16 minutes per game.
Hunter was born in Ellensburg and his parents were both CWU athletes and ending his collegiate career in the same uniform his parents wore means a lot to him.
“It’s overwhelming, the fact that it’s over,” Hunter said. “I think I’ve made good memories with my guys, they’re my second family and just getting the opportunity to get this chance at this level is such a blessing… Hopefully we come out with a win.”
Hunter transferred to CWU in 2015 from Alaska-Anchorage but had to sit out one year due to NCAA transfer rules regarding transferring between schools within the same conference. Before attending Alaska-Anchorage for the 2014-2015 season, Hunter spent two years at Eastern Arizona Community College.
“Me and [head coach] Rusty Osborne are pretty close, as well as with the guys I used to play with,” Hunter said of facing his old team in the season finale. “It’s emotional for sure”
Hunter has averaged 23 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, and is second in the conference in scoring, while gaining the same level of admiration head coach Greg Sparling had for his Hunter’s father Damon when he was a basketball player while Sparling was an assistant coach.
“It’s crazy because his father was here and I’ve known [Dom] such a long time,” Sparling said. “He’s on track to graduate, he’s a type of guy on the court that can score in multiple facets. He’s had a great senior season.”
Dawn walked on to the team at CWU after a stand out prep career at Arlington High School. He has been a three-point shooting threat all four years at CWU, and is knows he’s got everything he could out of his collegiate experience.
“I’ve had a great time here,” Dawn said. “I don’t it’s going to hit that this is the last game yet. I don’t know if it’ll be before the game, during, or after. It’s a sad deal [being done], but I’ve loved everything about going to school here.”
Coach Sparling has been impressed with the impact and career Dawn has had the past four years despite coming as a walk-on, including drawing his own group of fans cheering him on each time he touches the ball.
“Terry has earned his minutes,” Sparling said. “He’s a good kid who is important in the locker room, and he’s also on track to graduate. As you saw on Thursday night against Western, he’s a fan favorite as well.”
The Wildcats face Simon Fraser at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Nicholson Pavilion, with a special ceremony before tip-off to honor Garret, Hunter, and Dawn.