Nathanael Hoskins has seen his fair share of big moments in recent years on the hardwood. Scoring the game-winning basket against Pontiac as a sophomore, recently crossing the 1,000-point mark for his career and even hitting a three-quarter-court shot in a win over Peoria on Wednesday. That’s not even to get into the accolades he has racked up for his play as one of the more versatile players in the Champaign area.
On Friday, Hoskins and Danville teammates celebrated senior night with a 76-56 win over visiting Urbana to move to 3-0 this season. Hoskins looked at ease on his way to 24 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, per the statistics of Chad Dare, sports editor of the Danville Commercial-News.
“(Hoskins) constantly has improved,” Danville coach Durrell Robinson said. “He has done everything that I challenged him to do … improving catch-and-shoot threes, pull-up jumpers, defensively — and he has improved on it all.”
Fellow seniors Michael Moore and Tevin Smith, the former with 12 points and the latter with 13 points and 9 rebounds, scored their fair share.. Senior Jalin Howell was also honored Friday evening.
Hoskins has received significant interest at the Division-II level, but coach Robinson told Illinois-Basketball.com that he’s still receiving interests from prep academy programs, NAIA and other schools.
- Urbana raced out to a early 10-4 lead as Danville appeared to struggle with Urbana’s zone defense. From there, Danville made an offensive adjustment.
“We switched up our offensive plays to him (Hoskins) and Tevin as the primary ball handlers for us to make plays, and make it easier for the others and they did a great job of that,” Robinson said.
- Moore and Hoskins operated well in tandem, and Smith got his scoring going as well. The senior trio combined for 30 points in the first half, opening things up by knocking down three-point baskets. In a sequence in the fourth quarter with the game pretty well decided, Hoskins stole the ball, calmly moved down the court and lofted up an alley-oop that Smith, a Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball commit, finished with an emphatic, two-handed slam.
- Late in the third quarter, Hoskins hit a teammate for a corner three, then finished an and-one within the next minute to stretch Danville’s lead to 53-33.
- O’Shawn Jones Winslow made his presence felt on the boards and in the scoring column (6 points) in the third quarter.
- With under two minutes to go, Howell set off a celebration by knocking down a three-pointer of his own from the right wing, adding an exclamation point to the senior night win.