Basketball: Miskin rediscovers love for the game

Former Balers standout Hyram Miskin has enjoyed two solid years playing at Hartnell College.

In August 2014, Hyram Miskin was set to attend the University of Utah. The 2014 San Benito High graduate had already registered for his classes attended the orientation for incoming freshmen and even had his living accommodations finalized at one of the college dormitories.
And then …
“At the last minute, I changed my mind and decided to go the community college route because I still wanted to play basketball,” said Miskin, a sophomore guard/forward who is averaging 17.5 points per game for Hartnell College. “I guess I regained my passion for the game.”
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Miskin had started losing his love for basketball at the end of his junior year, and by the time he graduated, he had all but made up his mind that he would forego playing the sport in college. This despite the fact that Miskin clearly had the talent and potential to be a productive player at the community college level after a couple of standout seasons at San Benito.
Miskin’s outlook changed two to three weeks before classes started at Utah, after he talked with his dad, Bryan, and Hartnell coach Andrew Vasher. Miskin, who enrolled at Hartnell just a week or two before classes began, came out of those conversations feeling good that he was making the right decision.
Miskin’s play on the court has done nothing to prove otherwise. After averaging 13 points a game as a freshman, Miskin has upped his production level as a sophomore.
Hartnell entered the week at 9-7 overall and in 1-2 the Coast Conference South Division. Miskin has been the team’s captain in each of his two years at Hartnell, but the difference between the seasons couldn’t be starker.
“Last year was kind of a rough one because we had a pretty selfish team,” he said. “It was hard to work with some guys, but this year is a lot different because everyone wants to be and is excited to be on the team.”
Armed with a fresh outlook, Miskin is playing the best basketball of his career. Miskin said he’s shooting over 50 percent both from the field and from 3-point range, and he feels comfortable offensively.
“In high school I felt more timid, and I wasn’t trying to score because the offense was so different,” he said. “And now I’ve got free rein and I can go. I have the green light.”
Miskin is still good friends with former teammate and Balers standout Robbie Skinner, who is now starting at Gavilan. The two actually were matched up against each other when Hartnell beat Gavilan 83-69 on Jan. 6.
“I would say it was evenly matched,” Miskin said. “One on one, his defense is obviously a lot better than mine, but I probably scored on him just as much as he scored on me. It was a lot of fun playing him. He knows my strengths and weaknesses, and I know his.”
Even though Miskin hasn’t received a scholarship offer as of two weeks ago, there’s still a decent chance he’ll receive something from a Division II or III program. No matter what happens, Miskin has accomplished plenty in his second year at Hartnell. Not only has he put up some nice numbers, but he’s rediscovered his love for the game in the process.
“I’ve spent so much time in the gym the last couple of years just working on my game,” he said. “I’m having so much fun, and I wouldn’t have traded in this experience for anything.”

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