Out-of-state talent leading HSU men's basketball
ABILENE, Texas —
If you scan the Hardin-Simmons men's basketball roster you'll notice a trend.
Of the team's 17 players, 14 are from Texas, one is from Oklahoma (but even he moved across the Red River for high school), and two are outliers.
Joe Hoeup is from Santa Rosa, California, and Jalen Terry grew up in Anchorage, Alaska.
So how in the world did the two end up in Abilene, Texas, leading the Cowboys in scoring?
"I wanted to play for my Grandma. She lives in Abilene," said Terry, who has bounced around at colleges in Colorado and northern California before arriving at HSU.
"She's never seen me play in college so I wanted to go play and have her watch me."
Terry lived in Alaska from age 6 to just before his senior year of high school. He said the quality of basketball there is a lot better than most people would assume.
"It's a pretty big scene there. It's the biggest sport overall, other than the Iditarod," said Terry with a laugh.
The senior transfer admitted he was a stereotypical Alaskan kid, but a self-proclaimed gymrat who has liked his time in the Big Country.
"I've ben enjoying Abilene, the town. My coaches have really embraced me. My teammates have embraced me.
"It's been a good experience so far."
Hoeup has spent all four of his college years at HSU and has been a part of two American Southwest Conference championship teams.
HSU first made a blip on his radar when his travel team from California played a tournament in Houston.
"[Former] coach Craig Carse was there. He recruited me," said Hoeup.
"I hadn't heard of HSU. I hadn't heard of Abilene. But when he told me it was a Christian-based school I fell in love with it."
Hoeup said he didn't even visit the campus before arriving as a freshman.
"I trusted what coach Carse said, and all the players. They said it was a great school to come to. I trusted them, my family and I trusted God.
"I'm happy to be here."
The Cowboys are off to a 6-3 start with three straight conference wins. Hoeup and Terry each average 13 points a game.