ATHENS -- Georgia baseball catcher Henry Hunter is becoming a leader on the field despite being a new guy this season. A graduate of Grayson High School, Hunter transferred to Georgia from UAB after two seasons playing for the Blazers.

Hunter sat down and spoke about the process he’s been through while working toward making his Major League Baseball dreams come true.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Q: What was a defining moment when you knew you wanted to pursue baseball?

A: I can’t really put one moment on it, but it’s just always been my entire life. Like, that’s just been my dream my entire life to play professional baseball. I guess my sophomore year of high school, I decided to just do baseball. I used to play baseball and football, and I just kind of fell in love with the challenge that (baseball) brought every single day. You could work constantly on it and never like truly achieve perfection.

Q: What’s one thing that Georgia baseball has taught you?

A: Georgia baseball has taught me that you can have tons and tons of talent in one area. We are super fortunate to have so many great players, and it kind of stinks for all of us, because only nine guys can go out there and play on the field at once.

Q: What’s a sports moment that you’ve seen and that you’ve been a part of that will stick with you?

A: A baseball moment that I’ve been a part of that will be with me for the rest of my life was going to Southern Miss for the Conference-USA Tournament my freshman year, and I got booed out of the stadium. It was crazy just going up to the at-bats and seeing 9,000 people sold out of that place just boo you at the top of their lungs. That was something that I remember. I had a super tough night, too, and it was a moment that was horrible, but at the same time it was the coolest thing I had ever been a part of. So that will be with me forever. Just felt like the villain, and that was super cool for me.

Q: Who’s a person that you look up to that helped make you into the player that you are today?

A: I don’t know if it’s as much one person, but I’m super fortunate to have two great older sisters and two great parents that have molded me into the person that I am today. Having two older sisters is a little different because they give you tough love but in a different way, and I’m super fortunate. They just always kept me straight and kept my head on right, and at the same time loved on me. It’s one thing I always tell people, I’m like, ‘Bro, if you’re fortunate enough to have two older sisters, then you’re lucky.’ Because they’ve been awesome, and then just two great parents that are just hardworking and just show me great values my entire life. I just use that and try to use it now.

Q: What drew you to Georgia to continue playing baseball?

A: The staff. I mean the staff was just so energetic over the phone and I was just looking for a change. I had a tough year last year and was just looking for a fresh start. When I talked to the staff over the phone, I could just feel their excitement and feel their passion for everything. Obviously coming home is a big deal, playing in front of my parents pretty much every game. Then of course playing in the SEC is playing in the best league in the world. Those three things, definitely.

Q: If you could go back, what would be something you’d tell yourself during the transfer process?

A: I guess I would say go where you’re wanted, not where you want to be necessarily. That’s something I’ve heard basically my entire life just cause you want to go to a place where you feel needed and a place that’s going to accept you and want you to be here and you’re going to love. With Georgia, I was fortunate enough to come to a place where it means a little bit more to play in front of your home state. Just take your time and make a good decision and go where you’re wanted, not where you want to be necessarily.

Q: A lot of people talk about the competition level in the conference, but what makes it different from UAB?

A: I would just say the depth, like the depth of every team that we play. There’s not one guy that’s the whole team, you know, it’s an entire roster of really good players. It doesn’t matter if you’re the 14th-best team in the SEC or the best team in the SEC, you have tons and tons of good players that would probably be playing anywhere else in the country.

Q: (Coach) Wes Johnson seems to like his players to play other positions on the field. What is another position you would try if you weren’t catching?

A: Well, this year I’ve played outfield, that’s the first two starts in the outfield of my college career so that’s definitely been fun, but I would say pitching. I used to pitch a little bit when I was younger, and I miss it like crazy just because you’re in control of the game. That’s one thing I love about pitching. There’s nothing they can do if I have my right stuff, so pitching would be a passion of mine if I wasn’t catching. That’d be cool.

Q: What have you learned from Fernando Gonzalez?

A: Fernando’s taught me a lot. I think just the number one thing Fernando is just so good about is being able to slow the game down and just letting the game to him and know he’s a super-talented player. That’s something I’ve kind of always been, super intense wanting to make things happen. But watching Fernando and learning from him, working with him and getting the sense of never speeding up; the game is always coming to him, and he’s just in control at all times, even when the game is chaotic. So definitely just slowing down and letting the game come to him is the most important thing and that’s the more impressive thing about Fernando, I think.

Q: In the second half of conference play, do you think we’ll see any changes to how pitchers are used?

A: I think you could kind of have a little bit more of a set seven or eight guys you go to every single weekend rather than having a bunch of guys to get opportunities, but I mean just whoever is going to come in and help the team. Whether it’s a large group of them or if it’s going to be five or six of them, whatever helps the team win I think is what Coach Johnson is going to go with. Whatever helps the team win.

Q: Who is a guy you’ve seen at practice that maybe fans haven’t who you think will step up to the plate next season?

A: I would say Trey King. Trey’s a freshman. He’s only had a couple plate appearances this year, but he’s a special talent. He’s young, he’s learning, but he’s hungry. He loves being at the field every day, and I think if you enjoy what you’re doing and you have a passion for what you’re doing and you’re willing to put in the work, Trey has that, and he has talent on top of that then it’s going to take care of itself. Trey has a bright future.

Olivia Wilson is a student in the Sports Media Certificate program at the University of Georgia’s Carmical Sports Media Institute.