Q&A with Luke Hunger, the North West’s only 2022 men’s basketball rookie
In November 2022, a D-1 basketball dream will come true for Luke Hunger as he officially makes his purple and white debut. The Canadian striker is Northwestern’s only rookie in the Class of 2022, joining a roster with clear holes to fill after redshirt junior center Ryan Young entered the transfer portal in March and senior striker Pete Nance should enter the NBA draft process.
The Daily spoke to Hunger about NU, his high school basketball journey and what the future holds for Evanston.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
The Daily: What made Northwestern the right fit for you?
Hunger: One of the most important things when I made a decision was that I could use basketball to get a good degree, and Northwestern just presented the perfect opportunity because I wanted to play major basketball too. So being a top 10 school academically and also playing in the Big Ten was just very appealing to me.
The Daily: For those who don’t know your style of basketball, how would you describe your game?
Hunger: I would consider myself a four or five who can stretch the floor. I can play many different roles on the pitch. I can take smaller players in the post and I can also take bigger guys on the perimeter. I’m just an energy guy. I’m still on the offensive glass, still trying to get that hustle to play. I’m just trying to bring energy.
The Daily: What impact did Northwestern’s 5-out and small ball offense and your eventual integration into that system have on your decision?
Hunger: When (NU) was recruiting me, we were watching a few clips of me, and they were showing a lot of clips of Pete Nance and how they use different sets to get him open in their offense. Seeing that and then seeing Robbie (Beran), who is also a great shooter, and how he spins sets for him. All of this made him super appealing.
The Daily: You have just been named New England Preparatory School Athletic Council AAA Player of the Year after a great season at Northfield Mount Hermon. How does your experience playing in this conference, along with your spring and summer on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit, prepare you for Big Ten competition?
Hunger: EYBL definitely helped. Playing against the best players in my class every day has done a great job of preparing me for the NMH season, and also for college, because a lot of those guys I was playing against are going to be my opponents. And then playing NEPSAC is a very physical championship. Every day is a chore to play against very good players and well-trained teams.
The Daily: Is the prospect of being Northwestern’s only rookie in the Class of 2022 daunting?
Hunger: No, I’m just ready to jump into any environment that comes my way. I don’t really think about what the other players are going to do. I’m still going to come and do what I do. I let the coaches manage the roster, and I’ll just manage what I can manage.
The Daily: How do you envision your freshman year at Northwestern?
Hunger: My goal is definitely to get a place in the rotation and be an impact player from the start. I want to come in and play meaningful minutes. Coach Collins talks about how I have to be ready from the jump. There is clearly an opportunity in the front zone to gain minutes, so I expect to try to play.
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