Hunter Martineau and Masia Phillips are both four year Hilbert men’s basketball team members. The two guards came in together as freshmen, both far away from their homes, and built a bond right here in Hamburg. Phillips, who is from Queens in New York City, has made a name for himself with the program. He is well accomplished in the sport having scored over 1,000 points and received all conference honors. Phillips, a program great, is Top 10 in ten of the program’s statistical categories.
Martineau, a modest kid from Erie, Pennsylvania, has also left his mark on program history. Hunter accumulated 1,000 points over his career and now sits at the top in assists for Hilbert’s basketball program. Hunter isn’t new to awards and acknowledgement, he has received all conference honors all 4 years and was once named team MVP. What’s even more impressive than that, while being a beast on the court, he is also a beast in the classroom. Hunter was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma National Honor Society.
The Scribe reached out to both Phillips and Martineau to talk about their experiences with the program and also the community surrounding the school. In addition, we got to hear about the hardships they faced, the brotherhood that was formed, and a little sneak peek into their future endeavors.
The Scribe: Masia, you grew up in New York City, the mecca of basketball. Can you explain how basketball was a part of your early life and how it moved you forward as a person?
Masia Phillips: My older siblings and cousins all played basketball. I got to grow up watching them play. As I got older, I just got into it around 6 years old. I was playing in a house ball coached by my mother. I started meeting friends through basketball and continued that through middle and high school, and college. That’s why I love the game so much.
TS: Hunter, amongst other things, you are known by your incredible self-discipline and willpower. Can you tell us how basketball helped you develop self-discipline and do you use that skill in your everyday life?
Hunter Martineau: Basketball taught me self-discipline, if you want to be the best, you have to train like the best. You have discipline yourself to get up every day, get in the gym, get in the weight room. You can use that discipline to do homework, getting up and going to class.
TS: What can you guys tell us about playing for Hilbert? How difficult was the transition from high school to college?
MP: The transition was pretty tough, the game is much faster, much more you need to learn.
HM: The transition for me personally was a bit different. My high school had 4,000 students, Hilbert is only pushing 1,000 if that. Some of the high schools had teams that were just as competitive, but the games were slower because Florida schools don’t have a shot clock, it was a different game. (Masia) I think there was more competition in high school because everyone plays together, there are teams with multiple Division 1 talent.
TS: For Your tenure on the team, you have seen players come and go. What has helped you two to stay focused and committed to the program for 4 years.
HM: My family loves to watch me play, if I was quitting on myself, I was also quitting on them as well. At the same time, my passion for the game, I don’t think I would ever quit unless it’s for dire circumstances.
MP: I had lots of thoughts of leaving the program, but I always had my family to keep me in a space where I can forget about it and just play. If it wasn’t for my family or the love I have for the game, the story would’ve been different.
TS: How do you guys balance being a student athlete?
HM: I try not to save everything for the last minute, whether it’s homework, you want to get shots up, or spending time with your significant others.
MP: I just try my best to know and remember my schedule.
TS: Are the accomplishments something you guys set out for? How did you balance personal goals and team goals?
HM: I’m not much of a scorer, so the 1,000 points is something that I never set out to do, but was pretty cool. I’ve always been a passer, it wasn’t a goal of mine, but I saw it happening if I played well. Those records really don’t mean much, you never want to let them get to your head.
MP: In high school, I never got to the 1,000 points. That kind of bothered me because I was a 4 year varsity player. It was personal for me to get 1,000 points, but that never got in the way of goals that the team had.
TS: What can you guys say about the brotherhood formed with teammates and the relationships built with classmates?
HM: I’m very fortunate for all the guys that have come through here. I truly believe that there were mostly good guys that came through. The amount of friendships and relationships I have built is the reason why you come to a small school like this.
MP: Being on a sports team, you get to know people real quick and people get to know you real quick.
TS: Why did you guys pick Hilbert?
HM: I’m from Erie, Pa (Lived in Orlando for 9 years where he played high school ball), the school isn’t too far, I have good support nearby, and it seemed like a good fit.
MP: The biggest city in the nation has a lot of problems sometimes. I just wanted to get away from home, and challenge myself to be on my own.
TS: Having lived here for four years, what can you say about life in WNY? Is there a possibility of you coming back?
MP: Buffalo is a calm city, I like it. It’s not that big of a rush, no crazy night life. Definitely not what I’m used to, but I got used to it. I don’t know if i can start my life after college here, but I’ll definitely come back and visit.
HM: Buffalo is a great city. It’s actually very similar to earlier where I grew up. As long as there’s an airport that can connect me back home to Orlando, I’ll always consider Buffalo as a second home. Bills fans are very passionate, and I love Buffalo wings.
TS: What are your future plans for education and basketball? Is it over?
HM: For me at least, I think my basketball career in a competitive sense is over. I’ll be doing mens league and coaching but I’m done. I plan on working my way up to an athletic director.
MP: Basketball wise, as of right now is over, I’ll still be playing here and there. I want to become a risk analyst, I also want to work for the city of New York.