One senior played at The Rock School since the seventh grade, while the other played just one year.
They took different paths, but the pair are taking the next step.
On Wednesday at The Rock School, 5-foot-5 guard Tanner Bost of the girls basketball team signed with Division III Lawrence University in Wisconsin and 6-foot-5 guard TJ Hurley, who helped lead the Lions to an SIAA championship this past season, signed with Division I University of Vermont.
“It’s exciting, just all the hard work that she’s put in over the last six years, early morning 6 a.m., we used to call it ‘the 6 a.m. grind,’ it’s really kind of set the tone for the path that she has taken” said Tanner's dad, Craig Bost, who was the girls basketball coach from 2017-2020. “It’s exciting for her to see her happiness from all of that hard work that she has put in.”
Tanner played for her dad from her eighth- through 10th-grade years.
“I really got to see the behind the scenes with coaches and how much they do sacrifice for the team that they are coaching for and the work that they also put in, so it helped me find a new respect for all coaches,” she said about the opportunity to play for her dad.
Bost, who wants to major in psychology and work with kids, has a 3.9 GPA. There are several reasons why she chose to play just over 1,200 miles away from home.
“I loved the coach,” she said. “He was just very selfless and welcoming and took the time to understand me as a person while also loving the way I play too, but just the team and the atmosphere there was awesome.”
During her high school career, she scored 1,329 points, grabbed 703 rebounds, dished out 431 assists, and added 427 steals. She also made 210 3-pointers.
“There were a lot of ups and downs, there are a lot more positives obviously, but I’ll never regret playing for this program,” she said. “It’s awesome. It’s taught me so much, with basketball and just life in general.”
Hurley, who had a 4.0 GPA, transferred to The Rock from Niagara, Canada, and played just one season with the Lions (25-8) but made a huge impact.
“TJ’s basically been a consummate professional, and I don’t use that term lightly, because he’s come in and done everything we’ve asked him to do but then more, and he does everything the right way,” said The Rock boys basketball coach and athletics director Justin Harden.
“He doesn’t concern himself with little, unnecessary things, he’s really focused and dedicated on what’s most important so to me that’s character, academics, and he’s never received a B on his report card ever in his life. In basketball he just took care of business and it reflected onto the players and the players recognized that, and if you talk about just doing the right thing consistently, that was T.J. He epitomized that.”
This past season Hurley averaged 15.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. The senior made 80 3-pointers and shot 42 percent from behind the arc.
Hurley said he always thought he could play at the next level. It was always a dream or goal of his, but there was one moment in his life when he could see the dream begin to manifest.
“I guess the turning point was making a decision to come down here to Florida, just being down here playing against some of the best guys in the country,” he said. “It was a different level of basketball here. It was basically a prep year for college.”
Harden said Vermont is getting “a very cerebral player.”
“A very skilled player, and a very unselfish player,” Harden said. “We had to encourage him and push him to want to shoot more and he shot 42 percent from the 3-point line this year. He had several games well above 25 points, but there were times where he would just defer to his teammates because he felt like they cared a little bit more about scoring. That’s just the type of kid that he is.”
Harden said Hurley would fit right into Vermont's system.
“It’s a great match,” he said. “A lot of guys chase names and so forth, I commend TJ for picking the right school for him.”
Meanwhile, Hurley said Vermont was the perfect fit for him both on and off the court.
“On the court their style of play fits my game perfectly,” he said. “They play fast, they get up a lot of 3s, and as a shooter that sounds great to me, and then off the court I felt welcomed right away. I went on an official visit there and I felt welcomed by the coaches and the players, and everyone who I met there, so it just felt like a home to me, so it was a perfect fit.”