Lindsey Benson Hunter is arguably one of the greatest champions to come from Jackson State University. He is also considered among the top 10 best athletes to play for the Tigers, along with such greats as Walter Payton, Jackie Slater and Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd.
On Oct. 4, Hunter will join 12 others who will be inducted in the JSU Sports Hall of Fame.
Following a prolific collegiate career, Hunter was selected as the 10th overall pick by the Detroit Pistons in the 1993 NBA Draft. Hunter spent most of his professional career playing with the Pistons, having two stints with the organization.
Hunter was first a Piston from 1993 to 2000, when he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. He played only one season as a Buck before being sent to the Los Angeles Lakers. As a member of the Lakers, Hunter was a contributor to the team that won the 2001-02 NBA title. Following the Lakers’ championship season, he was traded on draft night (2002) to the Toronto Raptors. In 2003, he made his way back to the Pistons and that team won the 2003-04 NBA championship.
Hunter remained with the Pistons until the 2008-09 season, when he signed with the Chicago Bulls. He remained with the Bulls until the end of the 2009-10 season. Hunter went on to work in the Bulls’ front office as a player development assistant.
On Aug. 28, 2012, Hunter landed with the Phoenix Suns as an assistant head coach for player development. After the Suns opened the season with a 13-28 record, he was named the Suns’ interim head coach on Jan. 20, 2013. In his head coaching debut, Hunter led the Suns to a 106-96 victory over the Sacramento Kings. During his professional career, he won two NBA championships (2002, 2004), was named to the NBA All-Rookie second team and recorded 7,956 points (8.5 ppg), 2,021 rebounds (2.2 rpg) and 2,506 assists (2.7 apg).
Prior to winning championships on the professional level, Hunter was a local legend in Jackson, Miss. He played high school basketball at Murrah High School before attending Alcorn State University for a year. He then transferred to Jackson State, where he became one of the best collegiate players in the country. Hunter needed only three seasons to become the second leading scorer in JSU history. As a sophomore (1990-91), he averaged 20.8 points per game. The next season he increased his scoring average to 24.7 points and as a senior he averaged 26.6 points to be among the leaders in the nation in scoring. He was also named the Southwestern Athletic Conference player of the Year.