Boys Basketball: Hinsdale Central double dips to end the summer
Hinsdale Central coach Nick Latorre loves summertime shootouts.
Just how much? Latorre has scheduled two separate shootouts this weekend as the Devils will send split squads to compete at Willowbrook and Glenbard East on Friday.
Central will have a full squad for the Glenbard East Shootout beginning Thursday and will return a full squad to end the Willowbrook Shootout Saturday.
“I always try to do a lot of shootouts,” said Latorre, who is entering his second season. “It gives all of our guys an opportunity to play. It’s really due to giving the boys off the month of July.”
July is reserved for AAU teams as recruiting heats up while travel teams crisscross the country to compete in showcase tournaments for the month. Senior guard Alec Hutcherson plays for the AAU Illinois Old School and will compete in tournaments in Las Vegas and Indiana next month.
June is reserved for the high school team. For Latorre, that has meant shootouts at East Aurora, Stagg, Oswego East and Plainfield East, where the Devils competed last weekend.
With talent in multiple sports, Latorre isn’t sure who will play in a given week. Junior Chase Hamilton joined the Devils for the Plainfield East Shootout despite missing previous time as a quarterback-wide receiver for the football team. Hinsdale was missing four other players at Plainfield East due to football commitments: Brian Owens, Ian Bunting, Matt Rafferty and Jacob White.
Owens, a starting guard, has attended only one shootout and Rafferty is recovering from an ankle sprain.
“[The absences] give other kids in the program a big chance,” Hutcherson said. “It’s a big change to go from varsity to sophomore basketball.”
One of the basketball team’s other top multiple-sport athletes is junior guard Jared Eck, who started in center field for the baseball team in the spring.
Hutcherson and senior forward Rigas Pappas are working on taking over leadership roles for the basketball team now that Tom Garvin has graduated.
“I’m trying to lead by example,” Pappas said.
Hutcherson said; “I noticed that Garvin came in with a positive attitude every day last year. It’s something I want to do.”
Between basketball commitments this summer, Hutcherson has worked as a camp counselor for Young Life, a Christian ministry with a chapter based in Clarendon Hills.