Antoine Hosley (left) was headed to Gardner-Webb University, a Division I school in North Carolina before deciding to walk on at Washington.
He played the past two seasons at Jefferson High School in Portland where he averaged 15 points and five assists as a senior. Hosley was a second-team Portland Interscholastic League choice and he helped Jefferson to a pair of Class 5A state championships.
He’s also close friends with Husky teammate Terrence Ross and Terrence Jones, a former UW commit, who is a freshman at Kentucky.
Hosley, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound freshman, is the second walk-on at Washington, joining junior Brendan Sherrer.
(Why are you here? And I ask because I was at a press conference when you said you were going to school in Carolina.) “Yeah. I’m here. I feel like this decision to come here and walk on was the best basketball decision for me. I had other offers from other division I schools. I just didn’t know. I was very unsure. And then at the last minute knowing that Terrence was coming here and I was talking to (Lorenzo) Romar a little bit just from him being around my school recruiting. Me and Romar have had a good relationship since I met him and i just (found) out more about him and once I told him about me wanting to come walk-on and he was like that would be cool (and) I would enjoy to have you on my team. So I just feel like it was the best decision for me.”
(For people who haven’t seen you, what type of player are you?)
“I’m an open-court guy. I like to get out and run. I can shoot. I’m really scrappy on D. I like to get out in transition, push the ball, pass and find the open guy. I like to throw lobs a lot. I’m just an open court guy.”
(What are your thoughts on being at Washington?) “I like it a lot. I like the atmosphere. I didn’t know Seattle was so big so off the court, I like the atmosphere of Seattle. Everybody is nice. On the UW campus, I like it a lot. School is going well. I love my teammates. They make me feel at home. I feel like I’ve known them forever. It’s kind of like a brotherhood. It helps me a lot on the court because I feel like I can trust everybody. I’m getting to know everybody’s game and what they do well. I feel like I’m getting to know where everybody likes to shoot and the dos and don’ts of everybody’s game.”
(Have you heard Romar’s history with walk-ons?) “Yeah.”
(He doesn’t take too many so for you to be here says something about you.) “I feel like me and Romar have a good relationship. Like I said I got to know him a little bit from him being around Jeff (Jefferson High School) recruiting the two Terrences. He’s just an overall real guy. I got that vibe from here. He’s not somebody who would steer me in the wrong direction. A lot of people could have or he could have easily said okay I’ll take you as a package with one of the Terrences, but I feel like he wants me to earn it. He feels like I wasn’t ready in high school so he brought me here and he had confidence in my game. I feel like I’m not going to (have) anything given to me. I feel like I’m going to have to work for it and I respect him for that. I love him as a coach.”
(What do you want to get out of this year?) “I feel like working hard and getting to know the schemes and everything. If I just work hard, I feel like I can get all I need for me to move and be able to earn a scholarship and get some playing time. I just pick everything I can from all the other players and the people who’ve been here for awhile. I try to pick coach Romar’s brain as much as I can.”
(Is it difficult making the transition from a star player in high school to a walk-on in college?) “Yeah it is.”
(Is it humbling?) “I was thinking about that earlier today. I’m not used to just this. A walk-on guy, he has to earn his keep. He doesn’t necessarily have the respect of the other players, the scholarship players. So it is humbling. I was thinking about that a lot today actually. And I’ve always been one of the star players on my team every since I was young so it is humbling, but it makes me want to work even harder to get just to get back to what has been normal for me from what I’ve experienced in basketball.”
(Do you feel like you constantly have to prove yourself?) “Yes. I feel like I have to prove myself everyday. Like I said in high school, people kind of knew who I was and knew what I could do. So say if I messed up, it was like okay, he has the ability to do that he just messed up. But now I feel like everyday I’m earning the respect of these cats and trying to get to the point to where I can make a mistake and they know oh it’s okay because he can do that. So I just got to keep working.”
(Would you be here if Terrence Ross was not here?) “Yes sir I would. Actually I didn’t know he was committing here all the way until I was already in the process of making my decision of walking on here. A lot of people ask me did you try to come here as soon as you realized Terrence Jones was coming here. I knew all about what Terrence Jones was going through so I feel like I’m here because it’s the best decision for me.”
(I asked Terrence Ross the same question, when you look back on the infamous press conference – that you were a part of – what happened?) “I’ve been asked that question a lot. The night of the press conference I feel like Terrence, he didn’t know what he wanted to do either. I feel like he liked coach Romar as a coach and I feel like he liked UW because it was close to home. I feel like he just didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do deep down the whole way. He made the best decision and what was good for him. And I feel like from a basketball standpoint (Kentucky) fit his character and the things he likes to do on and off the court. He made the right decision for him.”
(You’ve talked to him. How is he now?) “He’s cool. He makes little funny remarks and jokes. He says: “Go Dawgs” every now and then. I feel like he is a Husky at heart. I know that he loves Romar as a coach. We just talk about basically the transition from high school to college and how much harder you got to work and the things you have to work on. We really don’t talk about each school as much. It’s more just basketball.”
(Does it get weird at times?) “A little bit just because I’ve always been close to Terrence. He’s been my friend and we’ve been playing basketball since we were little. So being so far apart and not being able to play on a consistent basis with each other is kind of weird. (Three weeks ago) we both were at home in Portland and we got to play a little bit. So it was cool.”
(Did you talk about maybe playing against each other at Maui?) “Yeah we did, but we don’t really look forward to that game because it’s not a set game on the schedule. We both have to win a game for us to play so we don’t talk about it much. I feel like pretty much if the game happens, it happens. I know it’s a high media game and a game that everybody is looking forward to, but teams have to take steps to get there first.”
(I’m sure you could have picked other schools to walk on, why did you pick this one which is crowded at the guard position?) “I feel like it was best basketball wise for me. I feel like I could take a little something from every single guard. Every single guard does something different. Like Venoy (Overton) is a defensive guy. I feel (Abdul) Gaddy is very involved with passing and he can dribble the ball very well. Isaiah (Thomas) with his scoring. I feel like I can learn a lot from each one of them. They all work hard. And then the history of Washington basketball is known for producing good guards. So I feel like me coming here and talking to coach Romar, I’m glad I came here and I have no regrets.”
(Who has surprised you the most?) “Matt (Matthew Bryan-Amaning). I think that’s been the surprise for me and Terrence. I didn’t know Matt could finish so well by the basket. He finishes. He goes hard. Even right now, he’s in there getting shots up and working on his mid-range (game). He has a lot of different areas in his game that I didn’t know he had. I feel like if he keeps working, he can make a big, big impact on our team.”
(If you don’t play a lot this season, what type of an adjustment will that be for you?) “I think it’s going to make me push myself even harder. Like I said I’ve never really sat the bench before. I think it’s going to push me that much harder to know that I’m not on scholarship so it’s not like I’m a redshirt so I can get this year back. I’m losing my time if I don’t play. So it’s going to push me to work even harder.”
Hosley tells GoHuskies.com he enjoys playing the drums during his off time.