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South’s Hunter commits to Oregon State

South Medford junior standout Donovyn Hunter has committed to play for the Oregon State women’s basketball program in a video announcement made late Thursday night.

The 6-foot Hunter is the first commitment for head coach Scott Rueck for the Class of 2023, and a big get for the Beavers after Hunter was named the MaxPreps state girls basketball player of the year and was also a Class 6A first-team all-state selection this past season.

“I’m happy for her,” South Medford coach Tom Cole said Friday. “I think it’s a great accomplishment. To play at the Pac-12 Conference level really takes a special kind of talent and Donovyn definitely possesses it. She feels really at home with the decision and has worked really hard to come back to the place where she can earn an opportunity

like this as she said in her video.”

Hunter averaged nearly 23 points, five rebounds and five assists and two steals this past season for the Panthers, who finished 24-5 and placed fifth at the Class 6A state tournament.

She made her triumphant return to the court in 2021 following knee surgery that cost her a freshman campaign and played with restricted minutes during that early summer campaign.

This past season, Hunter was able to discard her knee brace and play without restriction, proving to be a force on both ends of the floor and be named the Southwest Conference player of the year.

Hunter was excited but unavailable for extended comment on her commitment to Oregon State on Friday as she traveled to compete with her Cal Stars offseason squad, which won last summer’s Nike Nationals EYBL championship and has already been a force on the national circuit this spring.

“It’s a great fit for her,” Cole added of joining the Beavers amid a host of other Division I offers. “She wanted to be close to home and wanted to play at the highest level that she could, and she wanted to be around a coaching staff and a program that shared similar values in terms of her beliefs and faith. She said she felt like all those things really lined up and Oregon State really checked all of those boxes for her.”

In February, Oregon State extended Rueck’s contract through the 2030-31 season. The five-time Pac-12 coach of the year and national coach of the year runner-up in 2016 is the most successful women’s basketball coach in OSU history, with a record of 251-119 since taking over the program in 2010.

This past season, the Beavers went 17-14 and lost in the quarterfinals of the Women’s NIT.

Have a story idea? Reach sports editor Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@rosebudmedia.com or twitter.com/Kris_Henry

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Donovyn Hunter before paractice on Dennis Murphy Court at South Medford High.