Nick Hornsby is a 22 year old 201cm forward that was born in Irvine, California and just completed his rookie season with theGiessen 46ers II (Germany-ProB) averaging 13,9ppg, 7,6rpg and 2,9apg. He also played 2 BBL games for Giessen.. He won two high school titles with Tustin and then played at Sacramento State form 2013-2017 playing a total of 123 NCAA games and was able to improve his scoring and rebounding each season. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 11.3ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 71.2%. He spoke to German Hoops following his rookie season.
Nick thanks for talking to German Hoops. Your rookie season is in the books. Did your rookie season in Germany exceed all expectations or do you feel something was missing?
Yeah I think my rookie season was pretty good. I believe that I learned a lot and continued to grow over the weeks. I also think as a team we did great and exceeded a lot of expectations.
Your season ended with a do or die game against Rostock. Each game was more thrilling than the next. Was these three games the most exciting three games in a row in your young career?
I would say the last three games are definitely up there with my most exiting games especially in a row.
Game three was an amazing game that ended 93-89 in double OT. How bizarre was the technical call at the end of regulation that saved Giessen´s basketball season for the time being. Were you close to a heart attack?
The technical at the end of game three was crazy. I’ve seen it happen multiple times. I was honestly surprised that they called a tech. I knew that once they called it and BJ got the opportunity to shoot free throws we would be going into OT.
What gave Rostock the win in game three and ended Giessen´s amazing 2017-2018 season? Perhaps the incredible crunch-time play of Brandon Lockhart who led the team to victory with clutch shooting?
I don´t know honestly know what gave them the edge . We gave it everything that we could and I’ll always be proud of how hard we worked in those three games.
Bill Borekambi was one of the toughest guys to stop for Rostock in the paint. How did you experience battling him in the three games series?
Playing against Borekambi was a great experience he was probably one of the better guys that I got to play against all year. He was very consistent and knew what he was capable of.
Let´s talk about the strong Giessen Pro B season. How proud are you of the team and it´s accomplishments? The club had a solid 7-5 record on December 13, but finished the season 8-1. Talk about how the team was able to develop in the last few months?
I´m very proud of the team we continued to get better with every passing week. We grew closer as teammates and started to understand each others games more as time went on. The last few months we just started clicking a little bit more.
The club went through so many challenges and always kept a cool head. It wasn´t easy with Jeril Taylor leaving for the BBL and you also had some BBL experience. What do you believe was the club´s biggest strength this season on the court?
I would say our team´s biggest strength was just sticking together and not getting shaken up during close games especially at the end.
Even though you weren´t present on that cold December 16th night in Rhondorf, because you, Jeril Taylor and Bjarne Kraushaar were in Braunschweig for a BBL game, Giessen pull out the incredible 76-72 win with a seven man rotation and three youth players. How important was this win at that time and did it spark the rest of the season?
I think that game was very important. We always knew we were pretty good but that game showed us we could win with everyone and also win with only a couple guys. Winning that game definitely gave all of some more confidence.
How refreshing was it seeing so many Pro B American players get a chance in the easyCredit BBL with guys like Kameron Taylor, Miles Jackson Cartwright, Jeril Taylor, and yourself? Do you feel like the higher leagues BBL and Pro A took notice?
Seeing guys get pulled up to BBL teams was awesome. It was nice to see teams gives us opportunities to see what we were capable of. It was also great to get that experience playing at a higher level
What was the club highlight of the season with you on the team? Possibly the game 2 win in Rostock where you stopped Rostock on the last possession to keep your season alive?
Yeah I would say the second Rostock game was the highlight. We gave it our all that game, like we do every game, and it payed off at the end.
Let´s talk about your teammates. How refreshing was it playing with Jeril Taylor and having him as a teammate? Did you guys make a promise early on when you knew it could happen to play in the BBL?
It was nice having Jeril as a teammate. We definitely talked about being able to play at that level and I´m happy to see that he is getting that opportunity for this year and the next.
Did you notice a chip on Jeril Taylor´s shoulder early on? Is he a guy that will get that chance in the BBL next season with his good play there last season?
Yeah he definitely gave it his all and was very confident that he could play on that level like I said. I think he will good next season, because he will already know the systems and will have been there for a long period of time.
You said this about Johannes Lischka in our first interview. “I would say that what impressed me most about him was how solid he is all around. He also knows what he is good at and doesn´t go away from that. On and off the court I’d say he is a great leader even though I’ve only known him for a couple days”. How did his play and personality continue to impress you as the season wore on?
Honestly it´s the same as I said previously. He was just solid all season. He was the leader of our team and had no problem saying what needed to be said.
What was your impression of young German 18 year old point guard Bjarne Kraushaar? Is he still very raw or has his development taken a good course last season? Where do you see his journey going?
Bjarne grew a lot this year. He is what you want in a point guard as he can slow it down and run plays and he can even score for you when necessary. I can see him playing a lot in the BBL pretty soon I know he is capable of it.
Let´s talk about your game. In the Pro B you averaged 13,9ppg, 7,6rpg, 2,9apg and shot 38% from outside. How content were you with your rookie season in Germany?
I feel like I had my good games and bad games just like anyone else. There were times I felt I could have done better for sure but that just how it is sometimes. I hope to continue to grow and get better. I felt like my rebounding was more mental my rookie year. I was thinking about certain places and times to go to the boards.
One of your biggest strength on the court is your rebounding. How do you feel did you develop there as a rookie that you didn´t have in your game as a senior at Sacramento State?
I feel I developed more by learning more about European basketball.
You have always been a good passing forward, but it is still an ability in your game that is still a bit off your radar. How did you develop further as a passing forward this season having been introduced to the European game?
People are in different lanes and denying harder at times so passes aren´t always there.
You shot 38% as a senior at Sacrament State and improved your shooting in the second half of the season with Giessen ending at 38%. How close do you feel are you from being a consistent 40% shooter at the professional level?
I feel I´m definitely capable of doing and obviously very close. Like I do every year its going to have be something I’ll continue working on during the off season .
What was your personal season highlight? Possibly your 30 point 13 rebound outburst in the playoff game against Oldenburg?
I´d say the 30 points for sure. That is my first 30 point game and it will definitely be one to remember.
How cool was it playing in 2 BBL games against ratiopharm Ulm and Braunschweig. What do you feel did your game get most of this experience?
It was definitely a great experience playing in those games and just being around the guys on the team. They taught me a lot of things and I got to see the difference between BBL and Pro B.
How did you experience playing against guys like NBA draft pick Dasean Butler, ex NBA player Toure Murray and huge talent Jerelle Benimon. How close do you feel are you playing at a high level?
Of course I feel that I am close and very happy that I get to compete with good players like them. I hope to continue to move up ladder as time goes on.
What is the next step for Nick Hornsby? You more than passed the test in the Pro B and should get good Pro A offers and possibly BBL offers. Do you have the urge to stay in Germany or try a new country?
I´d like to continue to play and go up to higher levels for sure. I really enjoyed Germany but where ever I feel most comfortable and think is the best fit I will go there.
How will you spend your summer? Will you be at home working out or back in the Sacramento area where there are many NBA players working out.
This summer I plan on training and just improving my game. I will be back in the Sacramento area in my opinion training there has helped me grow tremendously as a player.
How does a normal summer day workout plan look like for you on and off the court?
During the summer I wake up train at 9am for about 2 hours then go lift and in the afternoon go back and train again.
Who was the toughest player that you battled on the court this season?
The toughest player I played against this season I´d say would have been Nicholas from Iserlohn. He always played great defense against me. He was very competitive and experienced.
How did you experience the 2018 NCAA March Madness? What was the most spectacular upset in the tournament?
I honestly didn´t get a chance to watch to many March Madness games this year.
Deandre Ayton seems like he could be the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. But having been in Europe this season you must of seen some highlights of Real Madrid´s 19 year old stand out Luca Doncic who belonged to the best players in the Euroleague. Should a guy like that be the automatic #1 pick just from sheer experience and talent?
I think it should depend on the team and what they think they need . I could see either one of them going first for sure.
Lebron James makes amazing passes in every game, but really showcased it in a game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. He already is like a point guard, but if he played just point guard and concentrated only on playmaking how many assists do you feel would he average per game?
I feel like if Lebron was strictly a point guard he would average a minimum of 10 assist.
What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther?
Black panther was the last movie I watched . Definitely a top 5 movies I have ever seen.
Thanks Nick for the chat.