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PSJ’s Hutchinson picks Gulf Coast

By Tim Croft / The Star

Posted Jan 12, 2018 at 4:09 PM

 

PORT ST. JOE — There exists a certain symmetry about Teiyhana Hutchinson, arguably the finest female basketball player Port St. Joe High School has produced, signing with Gulf Coast State College, arguably as good a women’s program as there is in the country.

 

Hutchinson, a starter at Port St. Joe since the seventh grade, signed a full scholarship on Friday to attend and play for GCSC, in the midst of seeking its third consecutive national JUCO title.

 

“She fits the Gulf Coast style,” Lady Commodore coach Roonie Scovel said. “She is a good athlete, good shooter and she has a high basketball IQ. She also comes from a good program and is a great kid.

 

“We are really excited to have her. We have set the bar pretty high.”

 

Maybe the most important number to consider about Hutchinson is 2,500, which she eclipsed in career points about two weeks ago.

 

Do the math: given an average of 25 or so varsity games in a typical high school season, an athlete would have to score 20 points a game for five seasons to reach 2,500.

 

In high school, although not all of it actually while in high school.

 

Hutchinson scored 17 points per game as a seventh-grader and averaged 20 points as an eighth-grader before technically entering high school.

 

“It has been an honor,” Port St. Joe assistant coach Tracy Browning said. “She has been our leading scorer since she stepped on the court for us.”

 

Hutchinson is averaging 15.2 points this season for the 16-2 Lady Tiger Sharks, the drop-off a product of a stronger, deeper supporting cast.

 

Hutchinson’s production, however, it not restricted to the points column.

 

This season she is again filling the stat sheet with nearly seven rebounds, more than four assists, five steals and a blocked shot per game.

 

As a junior, she was the Dairy Farmer’s Class 1A Player of the Year after averaging 20 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 5.7 steals.

 

The Lady Tiger Sharks reached the Region 1-1A title game.

 

Statistically, Hutchinson’s most impressive individual season came as a sophomore when she averaged 20.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 4.9 steals.

 

Port St. Joe reached the Class 1A Final Four, losing in the semifinals.

 

Hutchinson three times has been named to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association all-district team and twice has been named first team Class 1A All-State.

 

She also has been the Maxpreps national player of the week twice.

 

In part, that scholastic career, Hutchinson said, is a product of the hard-nosed coaching of Kenny Parker, who characteristically skipped Friday’s ceremonies.

 

“I don’t know where I would be without him,” Hutchinson said. “As a teenager, you don’t always like what you hear, but afterward you realize he was right.

 

“He’s been my mentor.”

 

The decision to continue her career at GCSC was one of proximity and impulse.

 

“They are the number one team in the area, in the country, and I have kind of followed them all along,” Hutchinson said. “I have watched (Scovel) and seen where she takes her players, getting them to the next level.”

 

The clincher was that Scovel put the scholarship paperwork on the table.

 

“I was open to anyone and there were a lot of people who texted me,” Hutchinson said, noting one of those was Tallahassee Community College. “But (Scovel) was the main one who made it official, who offered a scholarship.”

 

And that scholarship went to a student-athlete, noted teachers and coaches.

 

“She has transferred what she does on the court to the classroom and vice versa,” said Port St. Joe athletic director John Palmer, highlighting Hutchinson’s 3.427 GPA.

 

“The hours she has put in, on the court, in the gym, in the class, testing, has come to fruition for her. She is going to be a good one for (GCSC).”

 

Hutchinson is pointing toward a career in sports medicine, but will seek a general AA at GCSC while pondering options.

“I just want to continue my education and continue to play and get somewhere beyond Gulf Coast in a couple of years,” Hutchinson said.

 

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