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NBA player and Withrow High School grad Brandon Hunter dies at 42

Where Are They Now: Catching up with former Withrow, Ohio University hoops star Brandon Hunter
Posted at 10:19 AM, Sep 13, 2023

CINCINNATI — Oak Hills boys basketball coach Mike Price won't ever forget Brandon Hunter's prowess on the basketball court and his affable nature.

Price coached Hunter in Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) during the 1990s after a recommendation from then-Withrow coach George Jackson.

It seemed Hunter grabbed every offensive and defensive rebound during one memorable AAU game.

"He was one of the best rebounders I've ever coached in AAU," Price said. "He was an animal on the boards."

Hunter, a 1999 Withrow graduate and former NBA player, died this week. He was 42 years old. He is survived by his wife and children.

Hunter graduated from Withrow High School in 1999 and then attended Ohio University for all four years of his collegiate career. The 6-foot-7 forward led the nation in rebounding (12.6 per game) and double-doubles (24) as a senior. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the second round where he played one season and then played his second season with the Orlando Magic.

He then went to play basketball overseas for the remainder of his professional career. After retiring from basketball, Hunter worked in real estate and was also president of a sports management company.

"Brandon would often check in with me over the last few years to see how he could come back and assist with our student-athletes and provide support to Withrow and CPS," said Cincinnati Public Schools Athletics Manager Josh Hardin.

"He was a special person and his legacy will live on at Withrow High School and within CPS and want to send love and strength to his family and the Tiger, Bobcats and Cincinnati community as we lost a true basketball legend."

Hunter was inducted into the Withrow High School Hall of Fame in 2017.

"Brandon Hunter was a force in all ways," Hardin said. "He embodied what it meant to be a leader, hard worker and his dedication to basketball at Withrow, CPS and Ohio University led him to doing what he loved professionally."

Price said he had an idea he would have a successful college and pro basketball career due to his talent and work ethic. During one national AAU event, Hunter walked past then Ohio University coach Larry Hunter and vowed he would play for the Bobcats one day.

"He loved to have to fun," Price said. "He had a great sense of humor."

Price recalled one time he picked up Hunter in the Clifton area and the basketball star drew up plays on a whiteboard and showed his AAU coach while Price was driving.

"He was just a fierce competitor," Price said. "He was an unbelievable young man."

Hunter, a Cincinnati-native, spoke with WCPO back in 2017 about his favorite game at Withrow, and his aspirations outside of basketball.

The details of his death have not been released.

Fellow NBA player and friend, TJ Ford, tweeted about having spoken to Hunter just last week.

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