February 26, 2013 | 562 views
Sabety came up big for Sailors
Oceanside High School’s Hunter Sabety recently capped off a three-year varsity basketball career by earning All-County honors for a second time and being named runner-up for player of the year in Nassau’s strongest conference.
While most seniors have represented a school on the basketball court for the final time, Sabety is just getting started. The county’s top big man, who averaged 22 points, 17 rebounds, and eight blocked shots per game, will play college ball at Tufts, one of the country’s most prestigious universities.
Sabety, who had nearly 20 offers from Division I programs, including Columbia, Iona, and Marist, selected Tufts for all the right reasons. “It was a tough decision, but, in the end, Tufts had everything I was looking for,” Sabety said. “The pre-med program is outstanding, and the basketball team is up-and-coming. The key is academics. That was the deciding factor.”
Basketball didn’t become important to the 6-foot-8 center until his freshman year. In fact, Sabety had more or less given up on the game before he hit his teen years. “I played CYO at St. Anthony’s and played AAU ball, but I wasn’t very good and I really didn’t love the game,” he said. “In ninth grade I started to take basketball seriously, began to train hard, and enjoyed the game a lot more.”
Sabety also got a little nudge when he ran into another head topper at the Queens Center Mall; 6-foot-11 ex-St. John’s center Mohammed Diakite. “He saw how tall I was and struck up a conversation with me because he figured I played,” Sabety said. “He told me that he worked with young players. I’ve been training with him for over two years.”
Oceanside, which finished 10-8 in 2012-13, rode Sabety into the Class AA playoffs. In late January, the Sailors appeared to be out of the running when they embarked on a tremendous run. With Sabety averaging 28 points and 20 boards a game, including a career-high 48 points in an out-bracket playoff game against Massapequa, Oceanside won its last four games to earn a playoff berth.