Hosley looking to prove his worth

An interesting fact about Antoine Hosley: He's never played in an official basketball game with Terrence Ross despite having gone to the same high school. But that hasn't stopped the 6-foot-1 guard from Jefferson High School in Portland from taking advantage of an opportunity to walk-on at UW starting this summer, and that will allow him and Ross to do what they should have done years ago.

"He loves that I'm going there," Hosley said of Ross this week. "We'll be rooming together in the summer."

With Ross and teammate Terrence Jones grabbing all the headlines, it was players like Hosley and Idaho-bound Stephen Madison that kept the Democrats together as they rolled to a third-straight 5A title. Hosley wasn't there in 2008; he was slumming it at Evergreen High in Vancouver. He was born and raised in Portland, but moved to Vancouver in the fifth grade. He ended up playing his first two seasons of high school ball at Evergreen.

"I didn't really like it," Hosley said. "I wanted to expand my basketball knowledge."

At the same time, Pat Strickland, a coach Hosley was familiar with through the AAU ranks, became the head coach at Jefferson. He transferred to Jeff at the end of his sophomore year and stayed.

At the same time, Ross - who was the Oregon state Player of the Year as a sophomore - transferred to Montrose Christian in Maryland, but Jones encouraged Hosley to come to Jeff. In 2009, Hosley ended up being a first-team all-league and all-state selection as the Dems won state for the second year in a row.

Ross returned to Portland for his senior season, but was denied an opportunity to play for Jefferson, leaving him on the sidelines to watch his former club win a third-straight title. But Hosley was right in the mix, averaging 15 points and five assists a game. When it came to college opportunities, some small-time offers were lining up for Hosley while Jones' recruitment was heading into the stratosphere. Montana, Cal-Bakersfield, Sacramento State and Cal-Riverside were not what Hosley envisioned.

"I've always thought bigger and better," said Hosley. "I know I can play at a high level."

Now he'll get his chance at Washington with Ross, who signed with the Huskies during the infamous 'hat dance' press conference where Jones chose the Huskies, only to back-track and announce for Kentucky two weeks later, putting a bow on one of the most bizarre recruiting stories of the last decade.

"Me and T Ross and T Jones were talking and U-Dub was in the circle," recounted Hosley. "I don't even know how everything transpired, but at the last minute I was given the opportunity to walk on and make the team, and I think it's a good opportunity. Knowing (UW Head Coach Lorenzo) Romar, from him recruiting both the Terrences, I know he's around the school a lot and I know he's a good guy. I know he wouldn't steer me in a wrong way. I think he'll be a good fit for me."

Hosley is an athletic combo-guard that can handle the guard but can also shoot, so he's capable of working out on the wing. He can also get down and dirty on defense, get steals. He likes to run and get into the open court, which should make him feel welcome at UW. And he can't wait to join Ross in the Huskies' backcourt.

"(Ross) is a great, great scorer," said Hosley. "He can shoot the ball really, really well. When he came back from Montrose, he was better than when he left, and he was already a good player - he was the state player of the year as a sophomore. His ball handling has gotten better. His shot is getting quicker. Everybody already knows he can jump out of the gym. He's a great athlete and I think U-Dub fans will love him. He's going to show everybody in the world and in the Pac-10 that he can really play."

And Hosley can't wait to prove his worth. Like Will Conroy, he's adamant about his place in the world and knows UW is where he belongs - even if it's on his own dime for starters. "It makes me very hungry," he said. "It's like I'm earning my money. When you go to school on scholarship and everything's paid for, it's like sometimes people can get lax and get comfortable. But I think me walking on…I just want to get better every day. I want to get stronger and show everyone that I can play at this level. I think at the end of the day, it's going to be a good story."

The way the hoop dawgs are treating Hosley as one of their own right away; he will be up for summer school with the scholarshipped players July 11th. "Now that it's getting closer I'm getting antsy," he said. "I'm ready for college. I'm ready to get away from home for a little bit and see how college work is like. I'm ready to get there and talk with the team and see how things go."

In a strange twist of fate, Jones' Wildcats just might meet up with Hosley's and Ross' Huskies November at the Maui Invitational. "We were just talking about it last night," Hosley said of Jones. "He's already at Kentucky. We were getting into a little argument about it. We were going matchup-by-matchup, and I feel like we're going to win and he thinks they are going to win. It's going to be kind of crazy to be meeting up in seeing each other in Hawaii. I think it's going to be a heated game. We're going to want them real bad and of course they are going to want to beat us. I think we'll come out on top."

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