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Inspirational basketball player has career night

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Judge Memorial High School girls basketball player Cathryn Hunt has a rare genetic disorder, but had the game of her life on senior night.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Judge Memorial High School girls basketball player Cathryn Hunt has Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes low muscle tone and mental disabilities.

But Cathryn always had a love for basketball, and since making the Bulldogs team, has been an inpsiration for every single player.

"Before every game, she always gives us a motivational talk about how hard we have to work," said senior Jessie Thomas. "With her on the team, you really want to work harder."

"She's got a little spunk to her," added junior Julia Wheatley. "She just came up to me during practice and goes, 'Hey Julia, I just broke my record and made six three-pointers in a row right there."

Cathryn's confident and positive attitude has proven to be contagious. But what do you expect from the Prom Queen?

Of all the great moments she has experienced in her life, nothing will compare to what happened on Senior Night, January 31st.

Judge Memorial was playing Union High, and head coach Anthony Alford told Cathryn, a senior, that she was going to make her first career start.

"She came into the gym that night and told me she was ready to hit some jumpers," Alford said. "She hadn't hit that many this year, but she planned in hitting multiple shots that night."

"I knew I was going to have one of these games," Cathryn said. "I just didn't know when it was going to happen."

What a night for it to happen -- her last home game.

Before the game, Alford and Union High head coach Atlee Zipf agreed that Cathryn would be allowed to make the first basket of the game.

She did -- one of her patented 3-pointers.

"Everyone was ecstatic," Thomas said.

"It was insane, added Wheatley. "We were all standing and cheering. Whenever Cathryn goes in, it's just huge euphoria in the gym."

Then in the final minutes, with Judge comfortably in the lead, that euphoria turned into pandemonium. In an incredible display of sportsmanship, Zipf actually told Alford to put Cathryn back in the game and they would let her attempt as many 3-pointers as she wanted.

"I told him that I understand that his girls are still fighting," Alford said. "But he said, 'I feel like this is more important.'"

So Cathryn got the ball at the top of the key and proceeded to knock down four consecutive 3-pointers. With each shot, the gym got louder and louder.

"If you could see the stands, our boys team, which had come into the gym from practicing, were chest-bumping each other," Alford said. "Our girls, I had to try and keep them off the floor. Their players were cheering."

"It was just crazy that everyone was going so wild," Cathryn said. "It made me so happy, I wanted to cry."

Asked if she thought she could ever create that kind of noise in the gym, Cathryn quickly responded, 'No.'

It was a moment nobody that as there that night will ever forget.

"I was proud to be a part of it," said Alford. "I let their coach and their players know how much I respect them as individuals."

"Anytime anyone can see as dedicated and as inspirational as Cathryn, you can't help but not only smile, but also be personally affected by it," Wheatley said.

"This is my last year playing," Cathryn said. "This was my last home game, and I just wanted to make my last home game the best."


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