Standing at 6’6 as a freshman, Hunter Bradford was easy to notice as he was an Honorable Mention All-Skyline player for Klamath Union. During the off-season, his family moved to Medford and now Bradford suits up for South. It didn’t take long for Dennis Murphy to notice him either.
“I know that his father was a terrific athlete, so he comes from good genes,” said Murphy. “And then he’s got good size. And then he’s smart. So you put all those things together and right off the bat you know you’re going to have a winner.”
Last year, Bradford got the chance to take on some elite post players, like North Valley’s J.J. Chirnside, but those opportunities were few and far between. Now, he’s matched up with players his size night in and night out, one of the many adjustments he’s had to make playing 6A basketball.
“It’s a lot different speed and they shoot a lot better, but it’s a lot faster pace that’s for sure and there’s a lot more kids here, too,” said Bradford.
Beyond the physical aspect, there’s also a mental adjustment that needs to be made. At Klamath Union, Bradford was a featured part of the offense. With South, he’s one of several talented big men in the Panthers’ rotation.
“I know our team’s good and I know I’m the youngest guy like last year but we just have a lot more players around me that are really good players and good seniors too,” said Bradford. “I like coming in and helping out as much as I can.”
“He knew that coming in that the talent pool is deeper here than it is at KU and he’s done a great job of accepting that,” said Murphy.
With nearly three full seasons to go, Bradford has the perfect combination of size, skill and potential to become one of the best high school basketball players in the state.
“I’m not someone that’s every going to put a ceiling on anybody,” said Murphy. “I’m told he’s a better baseball player than a basketball player so that’s going to enter in to it and so at this point we just ask him to show up, give his best and whatever happens later we’ll figure it out as it does.”