Jan. 23, 2011
By Matt Winter
Husky fans may not know much about Antoine Hosley.
The freshman walk-on is averaging just under two minutes played in only nine games, usually when the game is sealed and the crowd is too busy going crazy for fellow walk-on Brendan Sherrer. Hosley has just one field goal this season (a 3-pointer against Virginia that happened to be the team's record 17th of the game), three rebounds, and an assist.
However, Hosley wasn't brought to the team to an instant-impact player. He's a long-term project that is helping the team on a day-to-day basis in practice without costing the team a scholarship.
He's a walk-on, but unlike Sherrer (who joined the team via tryout a year ago ), Hosley came to Washington to play basketball.
"It was a long process," says Hosley, who turned down offers at several smaller schools in favor of Washington. "I didn't know I was coming here until after our [high school] season was over. I had some conversations with Coach [Lorenzo] Romar and I felt like Washington would be a good place to go."
Hosley graduated from Jefferson High School in Portland, Ore. the same school that produced fellow Husky teammate Terrence Ross. He won Oregon 4A state championships during his junior and senior season (he played his freshman and sophomore year at Evergreen in Vancouver, Wash.), and was named all-state as a senior after averaging 15 points and five assists.
One thing that is evident when talking to Hosley is his mentality - unselfish, motivated, composed - and how well he is suited to play point guard. You can tell right away that is the reason Romar wanted him on the squad.
"I like to get out and run," Hosley says of his game. "That's another thing that drew me to Washington - the fast-paced game. I think that's the type of player I am. I can make plays in transition well. I'm a shooter. I like to get other people involved."
As a young point guard, he could not be in a better position to learn. Not only is his coach an ex-NBA point guard, but he's playing alongside three older point guards - all very different, but very good.
"I feel like I can learn from all of them, because they all have something different to take from," describes Hosley of his fellow UW point guards. "Venoy [Overton], he's a senior so he has experience. [Abdul] Gaddy, he's new but he's good, he's a smart player. Isaiah [Thomas], you know, he's just a student of the game."
While his veteran teammates have taken him under their wing (his roommate right now is Overton), Hosley's closest friend on the team is definitely Ross. They've known each other since sixth grade when they were both playing in the AAU circuit in Vancouver.
"He's cool," Hosley says of having his longtime friend up here with him at Washington. "I like to see him perform well because I know what he's capable of doing. Plus, off the court it's pretty cool having people you know."
Hosley doesn't seem upset or embarrassed by his walk-on role. He doesn't shy away from the fact that he is here to learn and get better before he can start getting more minutes. He talks about his role with a professional, confident tone.
"I just gotta work hard, don't think about anything else. All the time I've been playing basketball I've been in the game, or coming off the bench. This is new to me. I just work hard. Every day in practice, I just feel like in order to get back to normality, I have to earn my keep and earn my way and earn a scholarship. That's just what I do. Romar's a good dude, he made no promises to anybody. No matter who you are, if you aren't working hard you're not going to play."
There's no regret in his voice when he talks about choosing Washington over more playing time at another school. One reason is the proximity to home, which allows his family to come up and watch games.
"I like it. I like Seattle. I'm only a couple hours from home, so I can see my family."
Despite his humble attitude, make no mistake, Hosley did come to Washington to play basketball. When asked if he sees himself getting more playing time down the road, he replies:
"Yeah. I really do. I think I can earn my keep. I just gotta keep working at it and keep learning."