Arcanum senior, Hailey Unger signs to play NCAA DII basketball for the University of South Carolina Aiken
ARCANUM – Hailey Unger, the daughter of Carmen and Jeremy Unger signed with the NCAA DII University of South Carolina Aiken to play for the Lady Pacer basketball program while continuing her education.
The 5’8” Arcanum Lady Trojans senior plans to major in Criminology at USC Aiken.
“I worked so hard for this moment,” said Unger. “I am just so excited.”
“I am excited to see what Hailey is going to be able to do at that level,” said Arcanum Lady Trojans basketball coach, Abbey Moore. “She is only going to continue to improve and get better.”
USC Aiken coach, Mark Miller expects Unger to play point guard for the Lady Pacers program.
“Point guard – that is going to be my job,” Unger stated. “I do play shooting guard so I am sure there is going to be times where I will be on the wing but I will be the point guard.”
“It will be a big responsibility but I have had so much practice and time put into it that it won’t be as bad,” continued Unger. “It is going to be different than high school, but I play AAU so it will not be too bad to adapt to it. It will be a quicker game, bigger kids so it will take some getting used to it.”
“Playing at the next level just like in and through your high school career, when you go from junior high to high school it’s a big jump, it’s a big change – skill level and speed,” Coach Moore said. “The same thing is going to happen from the high school level to the collegiate level and her athletic ability I know is going to put her in a position to go be successful at the next level. Hailey will have a huge impact on her team at that level and I just can’t wait to see what she is going to be able to accomplish.”
Unger made it on USC Aiken’s recruiting radar through an AAU teammate and the rest is history.
“My AAU coach has a daughter and she went on a visit there and the coach mentioned that they are in need of a point guard for the 2022 class,” explained Unger. “I was his point guard for AAU this past season so he mentioned my name – next thing I know I get a call from him, I set up a visit and went down there.”
Unger will be a four year starter her senior season at Arcanum and will be her second year playing for Coach Abbey Moore. Moore coached nearby Franklin Monroe prior to taking over the Trojans Athletic Director job and head girls basketball coaching position and knows Unger from both ends of the court.
“I have only been around here for my second year now so it is amazing to see how much Hailey has grown just in this little time that I have been with her,” Moore said. “I’ve coached against her for a couple years and you have a different opinion, a different view and I’m just so thankful to have that opportunity to get to know her as a person and as an athlete.”
“I’m extremely proud of Hailey for what she is able to accomplish and she deserves it,” added Coach Moore. “She’s a gym rat, always in the gym working on her game and just extremely proud of where she is at in the level of basketball where she is playing. I can’t wait to see what she is going to accomplish this year and beyond. She has a bright future ahead.”
Unger took time to thank those that helped her see her dream come true.
“I want to thank my family, my mom and dad,” said Unger. “They constantly practiced with me, they still do to this day. They are always pushing me to be the best that I can be. My family is a great support, they are always there for me, every game, wanting me to be the best that I can be.”
“I love my teammates,” Unger continued. “We have been playing together for so long, we make a great team and I just love every second getting to play with them. That is going to be something that I am really going to miss. They have really helped shape me into the ballplayer that I am today because we have been together so long, pretty much since fifth graded and that is definitely something I am going to miss.”
Coach Moore not only is proud of Unger’s accomplishments on and off the court but also the excitement it brings to the Lady Trojans basketball program.
“These younger kids are looking up to these kids every day,” Coach Moore said. “These girls are eyes on them all the time and this is only going to continue to do that. We had huge numbers this year in our summer camp and these girls led them. These younger girls looked up to Hailey and our upper classmen and that is only going to increase those numbers I know and the excitement for basketball here.”