Kings analyst Kayte Hunter was just a small-town girl living in Modoc County when her basketball career began.
“In high school, I kind of realized the size of family that I had that if I wanted to go to college, I had to kind of figure out a way to pay for it,” Hunter said in NBC Sports California’s Women’s Empowerment interview.
Oh and she did.
After being named the Shasta Cascade League’s MVP her sophomore, junior and senior year, Hunter earned a spot on the UC Santa Barbara basketball team and led the team in points and field goal percentage by her senior year.
Hunter then was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury in the third round (No. 40 overall) of the 2002 WNBA Draft.
“At that time there was 16 picks in each round, and that year 12 total players made WNBA rosters,” Hunter said.
Hunter said she was competing against truly some of the best women basketball players in the world, and that remains the case today.
Across six seasons in the WNBA, Hunter averaged 3.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.
Now, she has an influence on those watching at home, just as much as they influence her.
“It’s not just about us as women or men in the business empowering them -- that’s very important, but viewers empower women," Hunter said. "For every 10 comments you get about what you’re wearing, or this or that, you might get something about what you’re saying -- that compliment me as an analyst or as a sideline reporter say, ‘Wow, I watch the games with my husband or my boyfriend, and you really make me understand it and you do a great job and I appreciate what you do,’ those are the ones where you’re like ‘Wow, it does matter,’ -- that there are people hearing what you’re saying.”