Q & A With Hunter Jumper
Junior midfielder Hunter Jumper (Plano, Texas) has started every match he has played in during his three seasons as a Cavalier and recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com following the team’s 2-1 win over Liberty on Tuesday night. Virginia hosts Alabama A&M in non-conference action on Saturday (Oct. 9) at 7 p.m.
Question: How are you feeling after the win over Liberty?
Jumper: Tuesday night games are sometimes hard to get up for but Liberty was one of the best Tuesday night teams we’ll play all season. They have a really great coach. In the end, it’s always a good game, fun to play.
Question: As a third year, how has your leadership on the team developed since starting your first year?
Jumper: It’s definitely grown but it’s still evolving. It’s not so much just one leader on the team, everybody is a leader. It helped playing my first year and being a starter because I’ve always been around the field – it’s really good experience. But every single player, even the first years, are becoming leaders in their own ways. I’m just trying to be the best leader I can be and be a role model, but we have 23 leaders on this team.
Question: How has the transition from defender to midfielder been this season?
Jumper: It’s like a promotion. I get to be on offense more; I’m always in the action. I have never really played it before so I’m still learning. It’s an ongoing process. All the coaches have helped me a lot the past couple of weeks.
Question: How did you end up at UVa from Texas?
Jumper: Anyone who wants to play soccer wants to go straight to the ACC. I was looking at Wake Forest and Duke but I came here on my unofficial visit, but [Coach] George [Gelnovatch] was one of my assistant coaches for the youth national team and talked to a lot of people and they said this is the place to be if you have the chance to go there. You have the academic side and you have the prestigious history of the soccer side. At the end of the day it’s an easy decision.
Question: What’s your major? Favorite class?
Jumper: My major is psychology and I’m doing the new Comm School leadership minor. My favorite class so far has been Leadership 201 with Professor Bateman – incredible professor. He makes you look forward to going to class.
Question: You say you’ve won two national championships. We know about Virginia’s 2009 NCAA title – what’s your other championship?
Jumper: Three years ago when I was coming into UVa my club team was playing for the youth national championship for club soccer and we made it there four years in a row. We went down. I was in summer school, but left summer school for two days, went to the national championship, and we won. I got golden boot, surprisingly. So I’ll put two on my resume.
Question: Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
Jumper: Every time before we go out to the field, the coaches leave and Ahkeel Rodney, one of my good buddies, does the “Teach me how to Dougie” dance and he’s really really good. We’re trying to get it all on film and put it on YouTube.
Question: Do you have any nicknames?
Jumper: Just Jump.