Tori Hyduke has a vivid imagination. When asked what she likes to do in her free time, Hyduke said, “I like to draw. I love drawing people in my free time.”
It’s clear that her creative juices aren’t boxed in on the floor either. Hyduke is an artist on the court. Her vivid imagination runs wild in between the lines as she slashes to the rim and creates moments of brilliance in a flash.
Recently we sat down with Tori Hyduke to discuss AAU basketball, Signing to George Washington, Rumson Fair Haven basketball and more.
By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop
TheDribbleDrop: Let’s talk about this off season. This spring/ summer, you played AAU basketball for The Jersey Shore Elite. How was that experience?
Tori Hyduke: I had a blast playing with my teammates. They’re all from great high school teams around me. Having Mary Beth Chambers as a coach made a better player as well.
TheDribbleDrop: Last year you guys lost a nail-biter to Manasquan in the sectional final. What lesson was learned from that game and how much did that add fuel to the fire for you this off season?
Tori Hyduke: We were definitely upset at the outcome of that game. I have played in a lot of close games but I’ve never played in one that went down to the wire like that.
We learned a lot from that experience in regards to finishing games strong. We look forward to playing them this year.
TheDribbleDrop: How would you describe Rumson Fair-Haven basketball?
Tori Hyduke: Uptempo in regards to our offense. Gritty in regards to our defense
TheDribbleDrop: Last year you made 1st Team All-State. Tell me one facet of your game your worked hard to improve on this off-season that you wanted to take to another level.
Tori Hyduke: Perimeter shooting, in particular from three. I already knew that I could drive to the basket. I’ve always been an decent shooter, but I wanted to be a knockdown shooter. I feel like I really reached that point.
TheDribbleDrop: This November you signed to George Washington University to continue your basketball career. What were some factors that led to you signing to the program?
Tori Hyduke: Well I love the girls on the team. I also love the uptempo style of play they have offensively. They love to advance the ball and create easy shots in transition.
Coach Rizzotti played a huge factor in my decision to go to George Washington as well. She played at UConn and was Big East Player of the Year.
TheDribbleDrop: Early on this year you are playing sensational. You have doubled your scoring average from last year, averaging 32 ppg thus far. Has the game slowed down a lot for you? What do you think is one thing that has allowed you to flourish like this offensively early on?
Tori Hyduke: We lost a lot of seniors this off season. This year I have taken a big leadership role with this team. I just want to win games this year.
In regards to the game slowing down, things are in a good place for me right now. I know where I’m going and I'm comfortable on the floor with my teammates and my role. Right now I’m just playing my game.
TheDribbleDrop: What’s your personal and team goal for your senior year.
Tori Hyduke: My personal goal and team goal are the same: to win our division and win T.O.C. this year.
TheDribbleDrop: Do you feel you guys are often overlooked when people mention the elite teams in the state?
Tori Hyduke: Yeah I think so. I think people overlook us a lot. I think this is a team that has the potential to prove a lot people wrong and we are going to show people we can hang this year.