Sleeping In The Locker Room Being Able To Perfect His Craft And Making Sure No One Is Out Working Him Has Helped Eddie Hunt In His Career

Eddie Hunt (201-F-1996, college: Limestone, agency: Wasserman) is a 26 year old 201cm forward that was born in Topeka, Kansas. He began his basketball career at Highland Park High School. He then played two seasons at Barton County Community College (JUCO) playing a total of 57 games. He then finished at Limestone College (NCAA2). He has gained professional experience in Mexico, Argentina, Italy and Estonia. He spoke to about basketball.

Eddie thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

The pleasure is all mine. I am living in Miami during the offseason period where I am preparing myself for my 4th season. And recently wrapped up my 3rd season in Estonia (Europe) where I would say I finished the season strong.

Just looking at your bio, you have two things that not every player has. You have heart and that never give up attitude. Would you agree with me?

I would definitely agree with that statement. I’m sure everyone else have faced a lot of adversity in life and also in my career. As a professional I have been taught to never get to high or to low stay balanced and trust myself and the journey I am on. With this mindset I have been able to continue my playing career, and more importantly building my character.

Even if it isn’t fair, teams do look at stats. You didn’t have good stats in Juco or the NCAA 2, but that still got you jobs in Mexico, Argentina, Italy and Estonia. You also must have a big self-confidence level inside you. Do you feel like you were unjustly doubted with your game especially in school?

During my collegiate career as you mention my stats weren’t good for whatever reason may be at the time, I used it as motivation to work hard and continue to believe in my skill and my development. Watching former teammates achieve great things on the court pushed me to sleep in the gym and work on my game, numerous of times I was literally sleeping in my locker room just to be able to perfect my craft and make sure no one is out working me. Since a little boy I’ve wanted to become a professional athlete. And watching my mother raise 8 kids on her own gave me my strength to never give up and I am not only playing for myself but my family, friends and those who have followed my career so far. My self-confidence is high and it is because on the court I know that I am a good player defensively and offensively, being 6’7 mobile with 7’0 wingspan gives me the opportunity to be able to guard all positions, and also I have worked to become a 3 level scorer playing against NBA guys and euro league guys and being able to defend and score at will definitely helps my self-confidence and brings me motivation of how far I’ve come and how far I can go. Well my first two years of JUCO I would say I had some really skilled high level teammates at my D1 JUCO, we had few D1 transfers and also the player of the year in the most difficult JUCO conference ( Jayhawk conference) so my first two years I had to get better but accept my role as a player and what I offered the team at the time. Unfortunately once I transferred to my university I would say yes I was unjustly doubted, myself and teammates also assistant coaches loved me and loved how hard I worked and most importantly what I brought to the court as a player and a teammate everyday in practice and games, but I had to embrace certain things that were out of my control and allow my faith to guide my through the rough patch of my collegiate career. Ultimately it led me to leave college early my Junior year and pursue my professional career.

How much of a factor did COVID play in getting jobs? You sat out the 20-21 season.

Covid-19 played a huge huge factor in my career during the 20-21 season, most of the world was shut down or maybe had a small bubble season or wasn’t bringing Americans in from across country due to the virus. So that forced me to lock into my craft once again and pushed me to have my breakout season later on. I trained 3 times a day for the entire year with NBA trainer Taylor Wayer in Indianapolis where he helped elevate my shooting and skills and also gave me the opportunity to compete with future NBA stars and current NBA vets on a daily basis. So I would say that Covid was a blessing in disguise for me personally.

This season you played with Pompea Atri (Italy-Serie D and Reinar Halliku Korvpallikool/Iisaku gumn (Estonia-1.Liiga). Things are looking up for you now. How did these seasons go for you?

Yes this season I started off in Italy, where unfortunately due to visa reasons I had a short stay, but was a great experience and performed in my short time there. When that door closed another opportunity opened for me and I signed with Reinar Halliku in Estonia where I avg 13ppg 10rpg & 2apg in 26mins played. The last 6 games I played my best on both ends averaging 16ppg 11rpg. Huge thanks to my coach and owner who gave me the opportunity and helped me and pushed me everyday to be my best and be a great person.

In Estonia you were teammates with American Treven Jones. He played at Virginia (NCAA) 10 years ago and has been grinding like you his whole career trying to find opportunities. I’m sure you guys bonded well?

Recently jones actually left once I got there I think he might of had an injury or something but I heard nothing but great things about him and sure we would have been great teammates, and who knows what the future holds.

Let’s talk a little about your game. You’re a 201cm forward. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

Great question, honestly might sound off the wall to a lot of readers who haven’t had the opportunity to watch me outside of YouTube film but I’d compare myself to Paul Milsap and Carmelo Anthony. I say that because I am more skilled player with the ball and at the midrange game and also being able to score inside and out, also create for myself and teammates, the last couple of games I was bringing the ball up and playing the on ball and off the ball. A lot of people don’t know that I actually had to play PG my rookie year in Mexico in a great league. So the ability to be 201cm but able to play back to the basket and post up and make plays from the block and defend the bigs but also be able to comfortably play in the P&R as ball handler/or screener and knock down open 3ps and or roll to the block and score, and make the right play gives me the advantage of being diverse and a unique style of player.

Are you a classic big man? Talk a little about your strengths?

I wouldn’t say I am a classic big man no but I would agree that I am a good fit to play big. Some of my strengths are having high basketball IQ, having a strong body that give me the advantage to post up guys that are smaller and also bigger guys can space the floor and attack slower bigs. Also being able to knock down open 3ps, and the high level midrange. Defensively having a stronger body and 7’0 wingspan allows me to defend bigger traditional bigs, being mobile on the defensive end gives me the ability to switch screens and guard 1-5 comfortably.

On what area’s of your game are you working on most now so you can continue to climb the basketball ladder?

Last season I showed where I can be number wise but this offseason I am working hard on my body and being more explosive and agile. The best defenders and better yet athletes in general take care of their body at a high level so I’m focusing a lot on my body and taking care of it and getting stronger faster and explosive, and on the court working on being more consistent behind the 3pt and finishing above the rim.

In 2019-2020 you played with Progreso de General Roca (Argentina-La Liga Argentina). What kind of an experience was it playing in Argentina? I can imagine it was an ordeal just reaching Roca by means of transportation.

Argentina was nothing but an amazing experience on and off the court, was honestly felt like an NBA season traveling for weeks on end having back to back away games through the week and being away from home for long periods of times. Gave me the true professional experience and the league is a very good certified league. I had the opportunity to play against great talent in the LNB ex NBA guys. The travel from America to Argentina took 3 days it was horrible but great at the same time and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Hopefully later in my career I can return to Argentina.

You were teammates with Kevin Hayes who put up real good stats in the NCAA 2. He is out of basketball. I guess not many guys have the determination or will like you to keep grinding which you continue to do.

Kevin is a great guy actually our birthdays are a day apart so we had the opportunity to bond on and off the court. Talent wise speaks for itself he is definitely a bucket. And I’ve continued striving for a long time now and experience so many former teammates pursue different life careers. For myself my determination and perseverance for this game is unmatched I love basketball eat, sleep, dream about this game.

You got your first pro experience in Mexico. What do you remember being your wake up call where you knew that you were a pro player?

My first experience was in Mexico yes, and it was one heck of an experience I’d say that. Great culture and fans. A lot of players would say their wake up call of being a pro would be an on the court experience but for me my wake up call of being a professional basketball player was on my birthday January 12th at the time I was staying at a hotel because I just arrived maybe a week or two, but I woke up and I got a call from the front desk with an regent call to come to the lobby. I came down and there’s a group of fans with a birthday cake and a poster of me in the lobby with some fans wearing a team jersey. In the moment I just embraced it and said to myself ‘I am a pro now’ may not be a cool story but very special moment in my professional career.

You played two years at Barton County (JUCO). Every guy I have interviewed JUCO have said that it was hard but an experience that they would always have done. How was it for you?

Yes I played JUCO and I will tell you that there is nothing like JUCO, you meet the friends you’ll remember and stay in touch with forever. JUCO is a nonstop grind, dog eat dog works at that level everyone is wanting ‘theirs’ hungry to shine. As young adults were on our own with not much guidance not many people care about Juco Athletes but one thing about Juco you have to be a dog and you have to love the game and when and if you can make it out of JUCO you can handle whatever the game of basketball brings you. I loved my time playing JUCO but I would of loved to start my career at NCAA1 ( also went prep school in Lee Maine where I got the opportunity to get the overseas pro feel, having all foreign teammates and living in a home with just basketball players and having that experience definitely helped me down the road) I held 15+d1 offers coming out of high school unfortunately I only took the act 1 time and decided to enroll into prep school that later pushed me to the JUCO route.

You never averaged more than 4,7ppg. Talk a little about how you was used. Were you a special role player?

I just wanted to win and make the right play and being reliable in my role was my only focusI never payed attention to how much I scored or any of that I had so many guys better than me at scoring so I found a way that kept me on the court at least and that gave me the opportunity to be all around player. I knew in due time I’ll have the chance to be a star player or be able to bring the scoring. I would say being a role player has helped me to become the player I am becoming.

You then played at Limestone College (NCAA2).You averaged 3.8ppg, 2.6rpg. This seemed to be difficult situation. What positives could you take?

Limestone was a very difficult situation for me on the court. Being a transfer didn’t really help the coach trust me I would say no matter how much I showed in games and in practice that I should have more opportunities, at the time it was frustrating knowing that all the coaches except the head coaches believed in me and all the players believed in me. I was just not a part of the plan that the head coach at the time had. He ended up leaving the program at the end of the year and I pursued my professional career and was able to make a step so I guess it was just another test in my journey thus far. With low numbers and not much opportunity I made sure I stayed ready I made sure I had the right mindset when and if the time came. And when it came I had a breakout game 12pts in 13 mins and a win. And after that game the coach decided to go another route and benched me. I kept a positive mindset and finished the school year out and became a pro. I would say some positives I took was stay ready, and things want always go in my favor but the things I can control and that’s where my staying in the locker room and dedicating myself to my dream kicked in. Positive is that I never gave up or I didn’t let a bad situation destroy my dreams.

You showed that you could playing scoring 12 points in 13 minutes against S.Wesleyan. Was this your fondest game in the NCAA2?

Yes I would say number wise it was my fondest moment, but honestly my first game against Anderson was my personally fondest moment because we were down with few minutes left and I came into the game scored 3 back to back buckets and then made a clutch game winning rebound then assist to win the game. Having the stay ready mindset and closing out for my team and getting the win was huge for me. And it said a lot about me as a player.

How did head coach Brandon Scott groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

I would love to mention Marquintous Jones, and assistant coach Joshua Davis who are both with different programs now. They both groomed me as a person and pushed me as a player and made me believe in myself and never gave up on me as a player or a person. And for coach Scott I appreciate the opportunity he gave me and allowing me around his family and home and made me feel at home in South Carolina away from home.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Donovan Harris?

Don that’s my guy but Don know he taking that L in the 1 on 1 hahaha

Who was the toughest player you ever battled that reached the NBA?

The toughest player I have faced that has reached the NBA is Donovan Mitchell, he was a man amongst boys at the time of 2015 where I played in Massachusetts.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

5 best teammates of all time 5. Tyrone acuff out of Detroit 4.Siler Schnieder -Kansas (pro) 3. Ahmad walker- New York 2. Shaq dance -NC. (Pro) 1. Jahmal McMurray-Kansas (pro)

Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

My Mount Rushmore Lebron James, Allen Iverson, Shaq, Michael Jordan.

What is your opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

My opinion about MJ and Bron, is that appreciate greatness while we can. Haha I think with time all things get better and with that being said the Jordan time came and went and we’ll be remembered but LeBron’s time is now and the world has never seen anything like Bron in any era.

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

Haven’t seen it but I’ve heard about all the bad reviews so I’m going to stay away from that movie and hope I never run by it haha.

Thanks Eddie for the chat.

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