Nick Hornsby is a 24 year old 201cm forward that was born in Irvine, California and completed his third professional season in Germany and second with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen (Pro A) averaging 14.2ppg, 4.9rpg, 4.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 44.5%, 3PT: 28.4%, FT: 86.1%. He picked up Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A Forward of the Year -20
and Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A 2nd Team -20 Last season he helped Leverkusen win the Pro A title averaging12,1ppg,7,5rpg and 3,4apg As a rookie he played with Giessen 46ers II (Germany-ProB) playing 23games averaging 13.9ppg, 7.6rpg, 2.9apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 70.3% He also played 2BBL games for Giessen. He won two high school titles with Tustin and then played at Sacramento State from 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 germanhoops.com during the Coronavirus.
Hi Nick where are you at the moment and how is your current mood despite the world turmoil at the moment because of the out break of the Corona Virus?
Currently I’m at my parents house. My mood is fine I am happy to be home spending time with my family. It has been some much needed time.
When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world?
When I first heard about the virus I didn’t think it would have this much effect on the world. It has been a crazy couple have months just seeing how rapidly the virus has spread.
How have you experienced the day to day life in Leverkusen during the Corona Virus outbreak? Did you see that corona effect on the culture there or was it not so much different happening in your day to day dealings?
When I was in Leverkusen during the pandemic I wouldn’t leave my house too much. During our last home game we decided it’d be best not to go around and high five fans as well. I didn’t notice to much there was definitely less people outside.
Did you become more aware about how you handle yourself in public in terms of shaking hands and not being in the line of fire with somebody coughing.
I would definitely say I became more aware . It’s crazy how sometimes just hearing people cough or sneeze can put you on edge.
Basketball leagues have shut down all over Europe including the Pro A. How disappointed were you about this and not being able to finish the season?
I was definitely disappointed about not being able to finish the season . It is different because this situation is so abnormal.
Before leagues were shut down there was a BCL game in Bonn against AEK Athens and a Fiba Europe Cup game in Bayreuth without spectators. What is your overall opinion of playing a game without fans?
I think games without fans is a good solution to keeping sports active . The only difficult part about that is when one player gets the virus everything will get shut down.
You have returned back to the States to California. How relived are you to be home with your loved ones?
I am very relieved to be back home in the states. You can never tell how severe things will get so I was worried I wouldn’t make it back with all the travel bans.
How have you experienced it in the States? There is a lockdown now in the state of California. How has the mood and day to day life been compared to what you saw in Germany?
In the states there are still a good amount of people walking around and enjoying the nice weather. Germany was more relaxed back with the situation just because I was out there only in the beginning.
What have you learned about these tough times that has made you stronger as a person?
I’ve learned much just how to be a little more of an outdoor kind of guy when it comes to workouts since everything is closed.
Will it be a big adjustment having to start 3 months earlier with workouts and basketball skill development? What will be the advantages and disadvantages of this?
No it just gives me and everyone in general to work on our crafts. The disadvantage would be just being out of rhythm of a real game like situation for some people. Advantage like I said would just be more time in the gym to work on your game.
Congrats on a fine season in the Pro A. Many said that the Bayer Giants Leverkusen were a big surprise team finishing in 8th place with a record of 14-13. Would of you been bold enough before the season to predict a playoffs appearance?
I don’t think anyone would be bold enough to say that definitely not myself. I’m very proud and happy for everything we did this year as a team.
The Bayer Giants Leverkusen played a very solid Pro A season after coming from the Pro B. Was having a good core from last season and having the added trust from head coach Hansi Gnad a big reason for the success?
Yeah I would say that it was a great starting point for the team. We basically all went in knowing what we were capable of and the bond we had from the previous season. When it came to the new guys they settled in well.
The team finished the season losing 5 of the last 7 games, but were in playoffs range. How long will the question ‘How would we have ended the season’ be in your mind?
I’d say it’ll be in my head for a while. Things could have been a lot different.
Talk about the value of American Colton Lasher and Sheldon Eberhard. They came to the team in the season and were able to contribute in a good way.
Colter and Sheldon were two great additions to the team. They both brought different attributes within themselves which helped the team in a positive light.
Nino Celebic had to pay his dues in the Pro B but had a solid first Pro A season averaging 10,0ppg, 2,0rpg and 4,0apg. How did you see him develop his game further this season?
Nino just stepped up to the plate. If you watched his games he would always hit the big shot. It was nice to see he had a lot of confidence this year.
If you had to chose one player who improved the most during the season who would you pick?
I would say that Val improved the most. I could just tell the work he put in this summer showed on the court he was more confident out there.
Let’s talk about your game. You played 27 games averaging 14.2ppg, 4.9rpg, 4.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 44.5%, 3PT: 28.4%, FT: 86.1%. How content were you with your season?
I was pretty content I could have shot better from three. Other than that I feel I played solid.
You needed no adjustment period in the Pro A. What do you believe made the adjustment so easy and how do you believe did your game develop further?
I just feel like I worked hard in the previous summer so it showed on the court. I also felt like I started playing better throughout the season.
Last season in the Pro B you stated this about your three point shooting ‘I’d have to pick and choose when to shoot them more. We had great shooters on our team so I knew if I needed to make that extra pass I’d do it’. This season you shot only 28%. What do you credit your lower in percentage shooting from outside?
I believe in the beginning of the season it took me a little while to find some rhythm shooting threes. I’m confident I can shoot better without a doubt.
In our last interview you stated this about the easyCredit BBL. ”I think my hunger grows every day to be at that level. I know it takes time and I have things to improve on but it would be great to get there some day’. Are you the guy that will continue to go step by step? Are you already ready for the BBL?
I believe that getting to the highest league is important to me regardless if it’s in Germany. I personally feel like I’m ready for that level but only time will tell.
You had many fine games, but do you feel like your 22/15 game in the win over the Uni Baskets was your best performance?
Yeah I felt good about that game for sure but I really enjoyed the games where I had double digit assist more.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro A this season?
The toughest player I battled personally at the 3/4 position was probably Rasheed Moore from the Panthers.
Luka Doncic had an amazing sophomore campaign. Is he a top 3 NBA player now?
I wouldn’t consider him top 3 just yet.
Where were you when you heard about the death of Kobe Bryant. You were 12 years old when he began in the NBA. What kind of influence did he have on you during adolescence?
I was actually just at home talking to my fiance. I would say that he didn’t have the biggest influence on me. To be truthful I didn’t like him when I was younger but as I got older and understood the game more I whole heartedly appreciated everything he had done for the game .
How bitter is it that the NCAA March Madness has been canceled? This tournament for some kids is the greatest time of their lives. What advice would you give that senior who worked hard for 4 years and would have had his one and only chance now?
It really sucks it got canceled but it was clearly for the best. I would say that to remember the 4 great years of college basketball played together and to cherish the relationship they have made on and off the court with their teammates.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I honestly can’t remember the last movie I watched but the last show I watched was Tiger King. It was a great show.
Thanks Nick for the chat.