Hardy fulfills dream of suiting up for Storm

Three years ago, Dwight Hardy averaged 39.0 points per game as a senior at John F.
Kennedy High School in the Bronx and turned the heads of scouts at St. John’s and the University of Illinois.

Growing up, Hardy dreamed of one day putting on the Red Storm men’s basketball uniform, but with lackluster grades his senior year, that dream would have to be put on hold.

Hardy spent a year at the Patterson School, a prep school in North Carolina before transferring to Indian Hills Community College (Iowa), where he amassed over 1,000 career points and earned back-to-back selections to the National Junior College
Athletic Association’s all-region team.

In November 2008, the opportunity to play at St. John’s presented itself, and Hardy earned a spot on the Red Storm’s roster as a scholarship player.

Dream and opportunity collided on Nov. 13, as Hardy played his first game with the Red Storm in an 83-70 win over LIU.

He played 25 minutes and scored 14 points, alternating between point guard and shooting guard duties.

“He’s acclimated very well to major division I college basketball,” said Red Storm Head Coach Norm Roberts. “It’s very rare that he takes a bad shot. He is always thinking team first, and he wants to do whatever it takes to win.”

Hardy said he’s felt comfortable adjusting to his new but all-too-familiar
surroundings because he’s gradually eased into a role as a complete player. He likes that he has the confidence from his coaches to be an aggressor on offense, but appreciates that the burden hasn’t been placed entirely on his shoulders, like
it was at Kennedy and and Indian Hills, where he led the team to a 30-3 record in his sophomore season after averaging 18.9 points per game.

“Now that I’m at the big stage finally I’m anxious to see what I’m going to do,” Hardy said. “Coming here I didn’t think my role would be to score as much, but coach really
wants me to be aggressive, and I prefer that role.”

Hardy rounds out a four-man recruiting class as its star prospect from New York City. In his time at Patterson and at Indian Hills, New York City was never too far from mind, as he would return to play in summer leagues, where he earned the nickname “D-Buckets” for his ability to score in bunches.

“Dwight is going to be an immediate impact guy for us,” Roberts said. “He’s able to do an assortment of different things, shoot the basketball, score, make the pass, and defend which makes him a real complete player.”