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Meet the New Guys: Stephen Hurt
August 20, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
Three separate years, three separate schools.
It's been a long road to K-State for men's basketball junior power forward Stephen Hurt, but despite it all, he's now right where he wants to be.
The Murfreesboro, Tennessee, native began his college basketball career at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, and, though he was expected to make an impact from the start, an MCL tear before the 2011-12 season forced him to the sidelines as a redshirt.
The following season as a redshirt freshman, Hurt returned to the court for the Bison healthy and ready to make an impact. He became the first Lipscomb player to earn Freshman of the Year honors by the Atlantic Sun Conference after being named the ASC's Rookie of the Week four times (one of honors came after scoring a season-high 30 points at Jacksonville). As a redshirt freshman, the 6-foot-11 forward averaged 11.5 points per game and a team-best 53.5 percent shooting with 7.8 rebounds and 1 assist in his average 24.3 minutes per game.
"My dad, he really wanted me to be well-rounded when I started playing, so we always worked on ball handling and shooting," explained Hurt on his ability to put away shots. "I always had a basis for my shot. I wasn't just bullying everyone down low when I was younger."
When Lipscomb underwent coaching changes, Hurt decided it was time for a change himself. He headed south to Northwest Florida State Junior College where he played one season under coach Steve DeMeo. At Northwest Florida, Hurt saw action in 26 of the team's 28 games, but despite starting 24 of those games, minor injuries cut back his minutes on the court. Things like strained hamstrings and a tear to the iris of his right eye left him missing out on playing time, however, it didn't stop him from averaging 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds each game.
After his season with Northwest Florida, Hurt decided K-State was the place for him, and he chose to be a Wildcat over recruitment from numerous other Division I programs.
"The high level of play, I'm going to be playing on the highest level possible, that was a big draw to come here," began Hurt on the reasoning behind his decision to come to K-State. "The family atmosphere, too. The fans are diehard fans, and I like that and the craziness that goes along with that. The facilities here are some of the best facilities in the country, and finally the coaching staff - they really shot me straight. I like the coaching staff. I had a good feel for them."
From the new facilities to the high-quality academic program to the family environment provided, being at K-State has been a breath of fresh air for Hurt.
"It's been a fun experience," he said. "It's been a lot different, the transition from going to junior college to now Division I, but my team has made it really easy and it's just been really fun."
And it's about to get even more fun, Hurt explained.
With the K-State men's basketball season just around the corner, Hurt can't wait to get on the court in Bramlage Coliseum to start competing against some of the nation's greatest basketball programs.
"I've seen the game on TV, I know the atmosphere is crazy and I'm ready to play in it," Hurt began about Bramlage Coliseum. "I love crowds, they get me juiced. I always play my best in front of big crowds, so it's going to be great.
And the Big 12, it's the best conference in basketball right now. From top to bottom, there are great teams. On any night you can get beat. You have to play at your top level every single night. It's going to be fun to play in that and go up against that competition."
With two exciting years ahead of him, Hurt hopes to make the most out of his time at K-State.
"My goals are, obviously, to win two Big 12 Championships - outright championships - to make some deep runs into the NCAA Tournament and have a nationally known team. I want people to hear 'K-State' and automatically think about a great basketball team."
K-State fans can check out the complete 2014-15 men's basketball schedule by clicking here. Also, men's basketball tickets for the upcoming 2014-15 season are available now for purchase. For more ticket information, call 1-800-221-CATS, visit the K-State ticket office in Bramlage Coliseum, or visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets.