Devon Hall – From CHC to UVA

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ANDREW SHURTLEFF/THE DAILY PROGRESS Virginia guard Devon Hall (0) walks through the starting lineup before a game at the John Paul Jones Arena.

In response to a feature article in the Cavalier Insider entitled “Devon Hall’s Long Road to Leadership,” Mrs. Kristen Wheeler shared these words with the CHC community.

“So proud of CHC alumnus, Devon Hall ’13, a captain of the UVA men’s basketball team that is positioned to be ranked #1 in the country. The focus of the article (written by Sam Blum for The Daily Progress) is not about how many points he scores; rather, it is about how he leads other players.”

Many CHC faculty responded to the news of this article, including Liz Moore, US AP Biology and Biochemistry Teacher, as well as Karen Mason, MS History teacher.

        from Liz Moore – “So proud of Devon!!!  He was a wonderful role model as a student-athlete while here at CHC, taking and succeeding at AP-level coursework, all while excelling on the court.  He never took the easy path in the classroom or the gym – he liked a challenge.  He was always humble and so polite.  His success is so well deserved. CONGRATS MARK HALL on raising and coaching such a wonderful young man!!!!  It is exciting to watch him play (and not just because I’m a UVA alum) – VERY HAPPY for his success and the team leadership that he has worked so hard to achieve.”

        from Karen Mason – “Congratulations to Devon and the entire Hall family.  I’m so looking forward to watching Devon and fellow CHC Alum Chris Clarke when they battle it out Saturday night in Charlottesville. Go Hoos!”

Follow this link for the full article:

Devon Hall’s long road to leadership

Devon Hall was feeling under the weather all week.

It was the worst on Monday, when the flu-like symptoms kept him out of practice. After the game against Louisville on Wednesday, he described himself only as “tired.” He scored zero points in 33 minutes against Syracuse on Saturday, still feeling the lingering impact of a long, sickening week.

In a season of career highs and success for Hall, his most difficult week might be the most fitting example to describe this season’s success.

The redshirt senior is this team’s leader for a reason. He’s one of the best players for a reason. He’ll play through illness, fatigue and poor shooting for a reason.

“Devon wasn’t feeling his best [on Saturday], but he was locked in and gave us what he could,” head coach Tony Bennett said. “That’s a strength in this year’s team. He’ll challenge himself. … He’s all about making this team [better], it’s been that way since he’s been here.”

Hall hopes to be feeling better when he takes the court with the Cavaliers on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Florida State (17-6, 6-5 ACC). Hall is part of the only group of captains that Bennett has anointed in nine years at UVa.

That’s because after five years at Virginia, the first as a redshirt, the next four spent slowly getting better, there’s no better example of the type of player that makes this program what it is than Hall.

“I have been here for five years,” Hall said, “so that is the time when a leader steps up and tries to keep composure.”

Hall’s mother, Leslie Guidry, said Hall’s redshirt season, way back in 2013-2014, was “the hardest year of his life.” He isn’t a big crier, she said, but he cried in delivering that news to his family.

The long game, though, has paid off. Now he’s the heart of a team that sits at 22-1, and 11-0 in the ACC — putting together one of the most dominant regular seasons in Virginia basketball history. He’s averaging 12.1 points per game, 3.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds and just one turnover per game.

His numbers this season have far exceeded what he did in his first three years on court. He’s shooting 44.2 percent from 3-point range, 93 percent from the free-throw line and 49.6 percent from inside the arc, all shattering his career highs. He’s committing just 1.2 fouls per 40 minutes in ACC play, which is second best in the conference. In a season where pretty much everyone is playing well, there’s a case for Hall as Virginia’s best player, even if it’s under the radar.

“He worked hard to get where he is, and every day he’s doing something to make himself grow,” Guidry said. “He’s working harder and harder and harder and he’s trying to be the best leader he can be for those guys.”

Bennett said he remembers former UVa guard Malcolm Brogdon taking younger players aside and working with them, especially during the dog days of summer. He wouldn’t just tell them what to do, he would show them how to do it.

That’s the same leadership style that Bennett sees in Hall. Though the nickname didn’t catch on, it was Bennett who called Hall “a Crock-Pot” — a slow cooker who took five years to become the player that he is. And now that he’s there, he’s earned the right to lead what could be a historically great Virginia team.

“Devon has a natural ability,” Bennett said. “He leads well. He’ll take guys with him. A great definition of a leader is they’ll show them, they’ll take someone with them and go there with them and say, ‘This is how we work; this is what we do.’”

Sam Blum is The Daily Progress’ University of Virginia sports reporter. Contact him at (434) 978-7250, [email protected], or on Twitter @SamBlum3.