ELMHURST – Currently, Chris Hester is a starter on the Lyons Township varsity boys basketball team.
Four years ago, he just started playing the sport.
The senior forward has taken a big step forward with the team this season. He has been a big contributor for the Lions, even leading the team in scoring with 21 points in the first round of York’s Jack Tosh Holiday Classic on Thursday.
“This year I’m just trying to be more aggressive and get my name out there,” Hester said. “I want to actually go somewhere for this. Last year I was just some kid on varsity.”
Hester has received interest mostly from Division III programs, but is hoping to play Division I basketball. While that goal may seem lofty for a raw player like Hester, his progression as a player has been rapid.
“He brings a level of athleticism that is hard for teams to match,” LT coach Tom Sloan said. “He’s really good going to the basket, offensive rebounding and out in transition.”
Hester plays forward for the Lions despite being just 6-foot-3. His strength and athletic ability help him make up for the relative lack of height. By his own account, Hester has gotten stronger, which has allowed him to play better on the interior.
He also has a perimeter game to stretch defenders, but that’s still an area that has room for improvement.
“I’m trying as hard as I can,” Hester said. “Just work on my shot, that’s something I need to do during a game, start shooting.”
While Hester admits he would probably be a better player if he had started when he was younger, basketball wasn’t on his radar initially. Despite the fact that his family all played basketball, another sport had Hester’s interest.
“When I was a little kid I wanted to play baseball,” he said. “I always loved baseball, but then my whole family was a basketball family and I wanted to do it. I ended up loving it.
“I don’t even watch baseball anymore.”
Once Hester’s attention turned to basketball he got some help from his dad to put the time in.
“My dad helped me get better,” Hester said. “We shot a lot every day this summer. That’s how I got to where I am now.
“I’m really looking for that D-I [offer]. That’s what I’m trying to work as hard as I can to get.”