You keep Ron Hunter quiet by either stripping tape across his mouth, or scaring the hell out of him. Hunter can chat up a mime, but on a automobile ride earlier to Atlanta with optimal assistant coach Darryl LaBarrie in summer 2011, the Georgia State basketball coach didn’t do a peep. They had just watched a recruitment in a 6 a.m. Workout, and LaBarrie was reasoning the ceo is ticked off because the kid wasn’t precious a 4 a.m. Wake-up call.That wasn’t it. Hunter was seriously scared, which walk the occupational of a strip of tape. He had a conversation in ~ the gym the morning with another college coach and the man’s native froze Hunter. The coach called the Georgia State basketball coach of the grave mistake that made by letting his son play basketball because that him in college.

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Hunter was numb with fright. That was thinking he can have a chance to coach his very own son, R.J., at Georgia State and also then this pack of angst is dropped on his head. The coach told Hunter that coaching his kid in college tore personal his family and cost him his marriage. The coach-dad and also the player-son collided on the basketball floor, climate at home, and also it to be a messy mix.

“He did every the talking and also I listened and also it didn’t scare me a tiny bit, it fear me a lot,” Hunter claims of his conversation with the coach. “I can’t also remember the name of the recruit we had gone to see, however I perform remember ton of voice and the look in his eyes.”

R.J. Hunter to be a star high college player in Indianapolis. He had offers from large Ten and also Atlantic shore Conference schools and also was considering Georgia State and also playing because that his father. It would certainly be a great get because that the program. R.J. Is a slick 6-foot-5 guard, a centerpiece player, somebody so smoking great the Panthers could ride him come the NCAA tournament, maybe a couple of times.

But after talking to the coach whose life was turned upside under by father-son drama, being hoop daddy didn’t seem favor such a crawl idea. Hunter flashed ago to the warnings from his own mother and also father a few years previously not to coach R.J. In university and allow him to uncover his own way.

Would it end in calamity like it did between Ron and also R.J. In youth baseball?

Ron coached Ronald Jordan in baseball as soon as he was nine year old and also R.J. Stormed off the field after one practice. He claimed he would never ever play baseball again — and didn’t — since of just how his father purposely pitched the end of the win zone to him to teach him to be a patient hitter. Ron is a micro-manager, a high-strung information guy, a coach trying to find an edge, and a worrier. His nine-year-old child wanted none of it.

And now, to hear an additional coach ring alert bells, well, Hunter imagined the worst. The was already 0-1 through his boy on his team and now the stakes to be higher. On the ride house with LaBarrie, Ron Hunter considered all that could go wrong and he fast-forwarded in his mind’s eye come a sideline collision.

Ron the Coach would bark at R.J. The Player around not gaining over a screen. The son would view it another way. He would check out his love father grind on him. Probably R.J. Would certainly say, “This no my dad, this is part jerk.”

That to be scary come Ron, who wants to be R.J.’s dad means worse 보다 he desires to be R.J.’s coach.

“I assumed to myself best then this idea that R.J. Playing for me was not going to tear our family apart,” Ron Hunter says. “I have actually been married 26 years and also that conversation make me pause. I started thinking about all the negatives and what could go wrong. I started thinking about R.J. The decision we had actually to do was always around R.J.

“I struggled with it.”


*

Hunter preserved talking to coaches whose sons played because that them. University of Detroit Mercy Coach ray McCallum is one of Ron’s closestly friends. His son, ray McCallum Jr., play at Detroit and also was a 2nd round choose in the 2013 NBA draft. Creighton All-American Doug McDermott and also his father, Greg, and Valparaiso’s Homer drew (father/coach) and also Bryce attracted have been used as oracles through the Hunters. R.J. Speak to George Hill, the Indiana Pacers star, who played for Ron Hunter in ~ Indiana University-Purdue university Indianapolis, which to be Ron’s previous coaching stop. R.J. Request Hill what specifically it was favor playing because that a coach so vibrant he broke his shin stomatic on the sideline. Both Hunters to be gatherers the information.

“There are road maps the end there and we usage them,” Ron Hunter says. “I have actually probably speak to much more father-son combine than human being can imagine. I desire to hear everything. I most likely haven’t researched something as lot as I have actually this the last pair years.”

Ron Hunter didn’t worry if he was over-equipped. The was acquisition nothing because that granted.

The worrywart to be sick part days make the efforts to obtain what he wanted, which was for his boy to play because that him, while wondering if his selfishness would hurt R.J. His wife, Amy Hunter, had actually the same worry with what she called “the experiment.”

And so R.J. Came to Georgia State and…. The didn’t begin well, yet it gained better.

R.J. Was among the top freshmen in the nation in 2012-13, averaging 17 points a game. His team members respect him due to the fact that he is no a daddy’s boy. There were no father-son confrontations that got out that control. There were no severe husband-wife confrontations v a teenager recorded in the middle.

There were moments once Ron the Coach obtained in R.J.’s challenge on the exercise floor and R.J. Still saw Ron the Dad scolding him. There to be no leftover resentment. Ron Hunter can be 24 hours removed from beating Duke, yet nothing can make him much more euphoric than exactly how this “experiment” is working.

But, no, the didn’t begin well.


“Hey R.J. Gain off the floor. Exercise is starting.”

Hunter to be so offered to his child being about his practices, and being underfoot, the his natural reaction to be to get him come sideline safety.

“I recorded myself just in time,” the coach says. “I said ‘Wait a minute, he’s component of this now.’”

And then they exercised together in ~ the start of Ron’s second season as head basketball coach.

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Two hrs later, R.J. Wasn’t so sure he want to it is in a component of it. He had actually a miserable exercise that first day and also his father was not happy through the high school behavior his boy hauled to Atlanta indigenous Indianapolis. It was R.J.’s rotate to be scared. The went home and also called George Hill the the Pacers.