St. Joe’s rising senior Grace Hutson finds home at VCU

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After collecting nine Division I scholarship offers over the last fourteen months, Huntington St. Joseph’s rising senior guard Grace Hutson has made her college call. Hutson has committed to play at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“The relationships I was able to build with the coaches and some of the players were better than some of the other schools I had offers from,” Hutson said.

VCU went 20-12 the past season, advancing to the Atlantic 10 tournament championship game. The Rams will have significant roster turnover by the time Hutson arrives on the Richmond campus.

“They are bringing in five new kids in their 2020 class and then they have five spots in the 2021 class. They will be rebuilding by the time I get there but I am looking forward to the challenge.

“Their med school is really good. So if I were to stay there, I want to be an orthopedic surgeon and go to medical school there. That’s a great option for me as well.”

Hutson was named the Gatorade West Virginia Player of the Year as a junior, averaging 19.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game. She also holds Division I scholarship offers from Bryant, Campbell, Colgate, George Washington, Radford, Valparaiso, William & Mary and Youngstown State.

“It is humbling knowing that a lot of people wanted me to play for them. But it was definitely a lot of work just having to stay on the phone constantly and answer a lot of questions. But it was worth it.”

Hutson will be at least the fourth St. Joseph’s player to sign a Division I letter of intent over the course of three seasons. Dena Jarrells is entering her sophomore season at Chattanooga. Paige Shy is starting her second season at Marshall. And Bailee Adkins is an incoming freshman at Dayton.

Hutson moved to the Huntington area after playing in Christiansburg, Virginia as a freshman and sophomore.

“I was pretty comfortable. I knew a lot of the girls on the team. So they were all very welcoming. Everyone was super nice and it is a great experience.

“We were super unselfish this year. That definitely showed especially when we had to play as a team against other great teams that had just as many good players as us. Individually, it helped me elevate my game because I was forced to play great and do good things night in and night out. There was never a game off for us.”

The Irish went 22-1 this past winter, earning the top seed in the Class A state tournament before it was halted by the pandemic. St. Joseph’s will welcome back five of their top seven scorers and leaders in minutes played.

“Losing Bailee and Abby (Lee) are definitely big losses but it grants others an opportunity to step up and I definitely think we will carry over our chemistry from last year. The schedule is definitely going to be challenging but we will get in the gym and start working and we will be alright.”

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