Welcome to "Hoops with Hulls", where former Indiana guard and Bloomington native Jordan Hulls will share stories, offer advice, weigh in on current sports topics, and provide updates on his professional career overseas.
JOURNAL ENTRY #14: 5 Questions with Jordan Hulls
Instead of his usual weekly journal entries, we’ve decided to mix it up with Jordan Hulls lately and have him answer questions we think Indiana fans will find interesting.
This week, Jordan answers 5 questions ranging from Yogi Ferrell‘s NBA success to how he’s preparing to be a father.
1. Yogi Ferrell is killing it so far with the Mavericks! What have been your thoughts on his success and can it continue?
JORDAN HULLS: It has been awesome to see the success that Yogi is having with the Mavericks. Guys always dream of the opportunity that he’s been given, to be able to prove yourself, once again perhaps, and put on a show. I’m so happy to see him take advantage of the opportunity, sometimes that’s all it takes! He is proving himself and I don’t see why it can’t continue. He has all the tools and I think being with a bunch of veterans on his team and under a great coach, he will be able to thrive given this chance. Great seeing another Hoosier out there and I’m sure Mark Cuban is liking it too!
2. Which issue currently hurting this year’s Indiana team is more correctable: Defense or turnovers?
HULLS: It’s been a tough stretch for our Hoosiers. The injuries we have suffered definitely is part of our struggles but they don’t account for everything. The execution hasn’t been crisp consistently throughout a whole game. I think playing inside-out will be a big key for us going forward, just have to execute getting the ball inside effectively and have good spacing. That of course includes taking care of the basketball — we can’t have careless turnovers/empty possessions. I can deal with turning it over being aggressive and trying to make a good play, but the turnovers where we are just being careless and not alert can’t happen in order for us to win.
Then obviously defense is key thing for us. Nothing magical to say, we just need to play defense and use those stops to create offensive opportunities. For my teams, we were so dangerous when we were able to get stops and get out and run. I think this team could do some damage in open court after we get stops, while making good decisions.
3. How many baby books have you read by now, and what’s been your biggest takeaway? Do you feel ready to be a dad?
HULLS: I can’t wait to be dad! I’ve been reading this one baby book that goes month by month so I can follow along with how the baby is progressing and what to expect. I’ve learned quite a bit. On the financial side of things, the different ways to approach the best methods, and what to expect with wife as she’s going through these major changes. This has definitely been the most difficult thing about being away this year, I hate missing all the appointments and being there for Aubrey. We have done the best we can with my involvement and everything is going to be just fine! We are surrounded by great friends and family and are excited that our little guy will feel the same love. Pumped!!!!!
4. You shared with me that you used to sleep in the locker room sometimes because you were in the gym shooting so late and wanted to get more shots up in the morning. First off, that’s crazy! But did you have a sleeping bag in there? Pillows in your locker? I can’t imagine your body would have been feeling the greatest in the morning if you slept on the floor. And when you did that, what time did you typically go to sleep and wake up?
HULLS: During my time at IU, it’s true that I would stay in the locker room sometimes. In our Cook Hall locker room there are couches there that the guys would take naps on in between classes or before practice, so I would sleep on the couch during those nights. Didn’t have pillows or anything but would use my winter jacket for a pillow or blanket, whatever I needed most that night, haha. The nights I stayed in Cook were usually after a road game where I hadn’t shot the ball well or wasn’t happy with how I played. The gym was my sanctuary.
After we got off the plane and bussed back to Cook, I would go change and get a shooting workout in to clear my mind and work out the kinks. I usually had class in the morning so I would wake up a little earlier and get a few more reps up then head to class from the gym. The amount of sleep I got was never much but I always felt good knowing I had gotten shots up so it didn’t bother me. I also would stay at the gym when I was there late working on homework. We had a room with two computers in it and I would use that a lot for my class work. I hate to admit it but I was a procrastinator, so I would always be up late working on papers and homework.
So I thought, ‘Well I can get my work done and get some shots up then just stay here to save time and get more sleep.’ Being a procrastinator but also wanting to make things perfect doesn’t make sense but it’s how I am and I guess the pressure was good for me? I have no idea, but I got good grades and it all worked out, ha! Don’t procrastinate kids!
Anyway, I think back to those days and I’m glad I was so dedicated to becoming a better player and teammate. It’s something that is small but I think it went a long way for me, being able to lead by example and show how much I cared.
5. What do you consider to be the most important treatment to sustained health in basketball? Is it getting taped, stretching out, activating your muscles, or something else?
HULLS: The most important treatment to sustained health in basketball is a tough question. We are all made differently and one thing may work wonders for me and not do anything for others. For instance, I got taped every day in college and my first year as a pro but now I haven’t taped my ankles the last 3 years because I like it better. I do ankle exercises and other preventive work to keep from injury but I think not taping is better than taping, whereas others will definitely disagree.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how important it is to take care of your body. No one knows your body better than you so it’s important to “listen” to what your body is telling you. If you’re hurting, then it’s crucial to take care of it right away because if you delay it, you will usually end up compensating elsewhere and then it’s just a cycle of pain. I believe that strength training is also an important part to staying healthy. It not only gets you stronger in your play but strengthens your muscles and joints to help prevent injuries. Lastly, muscle activation and post practice stretching is very important. We do a lot of work before practice to activate our muscles and prepare them by doing moves that we will perform on the court, more dynamic stretching. After our practice is over, I make sure to get a stretch in to cool down and release any tension, more static stretching.
These are all things that I’ve been able to do and was fortunate enough to learn through schooling at IU, the medical staff at IU, and through all the different experiences over the years. Since high school, I’ve been getting treatment done by Dr. Brian Murer and was the first person to talk with me about the importance of taking care of my body, so I owe a lot to him for getting me this far! My body is still feeling good and I’m hoping to continue that as I get older so I can have a long and healthy career!
JOURNAL ENTRY #13: Four More Interesting Questions with Jordan Hulls
Last week, we decided to replace Jordan Hulls' weekly journal entry with an interesting question and answer article with him. Since that post was so successful, we've decided to do the same thing again this week, with four different questions.
Q: Who is your favorite basketball player to watch at any level? If you had 2 hours to watch any current player play, who would you enjoy watching the most?
HULLS: My favorite player of all time is Steve Nash. Pistol Pete is pretty much a tie with him but there’s not as much film on him than Steve. I’ve probably seen every YouTube clip on him, just trying to see how he became one of the best guards to ever play the game. The reason I love his game so much is because I can relate to him more so than let’s say a LeBron.
Much like me, Nash was never the biggest, strongest, fastest, but he controlled all the controllable things and got the most out of his abilities. So, even though I’ve watched way more than 2 hours of Steve Nash film, I’d still choose him to watch for another 2 hours. As far as current players go, I really enjoy watching Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker ... Pretty much anyone that I can watch and learn something from is always good for me. There are many fun guys to watch but Steph and Kyrie are probably the two guys I watch most from a dribbling and creating standpoint, they’re unreal.
Q: We always hear how difficult Tom Crean's practices are. Give us an example of an especially difficult practice from the early years. Any details you can provide us fans?
HULLS: I can’t really explain to you how demanding our practices were, both mentally and physically. I don’t know how they compare now but the hardest times of my career were the first two years at IU. We were rebuilding and with that came a lot of difficult obstacles. We would work so hard and fight in every way we could but just didn’t see the wins. However, we got better and eventually all those hard times paid off because we were able to use that as motivation because we never wanted to go back to that. I can’t name a specific practice because they all kind of run together for me now but I can name drills that we used to have nightmares about ...
- The Towel Drill: Hang a towel over the rim and 2 guys go 1 on 1 to see who can grab the towel off the rim first. First, one guy is the “offense” and he must block out the “defense” for a quick “hit and stick” then go. Absolutely not the drill you want to be matched up with Tijan Jobe or Tom Pritchard, which I had to do sometimes.
- 17s: It’s a conditioning drill that we did all the time for losing, not doing something right, or just to get in shape. The worst was having to do it after every time you lost during a competitive drill in practice. You were dog tired from all the things going on in practice then you had to run a 17 in 60 seconds after losing. Oh, and every one had to run it again if someone didn’t make the time. Lots of yelling during these times, haha.
- 22s: We did many of the 17 runs in the earlier parts of the season, especially during individuals. Now, 22s were also things we did if you lost in a drill. It’s down the court and back twice in 22 seconds. Once for a preseason conditioning drill we did 22 22s. Good times. As we got these down real well, in the practices we actually made the winners of the drills do the 22s because we would say that the winners deserve to get better by running, not the losers. I think that was a funny little thing that actually had a big impact on our approach to getting better and wanting to be the best/stay in the number 1 spot.
There are a lot more drills that I could name that were tough but these were the ones that I remember most.
Q: Better Talent: Cody Zeller at pranks or Victor Oladipo at singing?
HULLS: The better talent between Cody at pranks and Vic at singing is a close one. Vic wasn’t always as good of a singer as he is now but I think he got better as the years went on because he did it ALL THE TIME. But I think Cody at pranks is the winner here. He was so sly about stupid little things and he has stories about his best pranks that make you think like, 'I really have to watch out for this guy'. The Big Handsome is a prankster, so watch out.
Q: Take us through your night when the WatShot happened. What do you remember doing from the time the shot went in until you went to bed? Did you break your rule and have a beer or two, and did you even make it to bed? Just tell us what that experience was like.
HULLS: The Wat Shot night has been described as one of the best nights in their college years by some people. It was one of the best moments in my career for sure. After the court was stormed, I was trying to make sure CWat wasn’t suffocated first of all but then I wanted to just take it all in on the court with my teammates and the fans. It was unreal and the pictures are great but don’t compare to actually being there. I wasn’t much of the going out type but I made sure to enjoy the moment. I didn’t take that first drink of beer that night but I drove around with some of the guys earlier in the night just to see how chaotic it was on Kirkwood. People climbing on poles, street filled with people chanting… It was awesome, haha. I didn’t stay out all night or anything, but I had a fun time making sure I remembered that special moment of our college years.
JOURNAL ENTRY #12: Four Interesting Questions with Jordan Hulls
Instead of his traditional journal entry this week, I decided to ask Jordan Hulls four questions about his time at Indiana. I think you will enjoy reading his answers.
Q: You played against the nation’s best teams and players during your 4 years at Indiana. If you had to pick one player that was the hardest to guard, or who just kept you up at night worrying about how to defend him, who would it be? (Note: Can’t be another IU player.)
HULLS: I always welcomed the challenge when facing another player who was highly talked about. I had a chip on my shoulder and wanted to prove to people I was a pretty good player too. Now, I had great players around me that made me my life a lot easier and I never did anything alone. I think one of the best players we ever played against was Northwestern’s John Shurna. May be a surprise to people with that answer but he was always a guy who could get things done, no matter how unorthodox his game may have been. A few other guys that I think were really tough when we played against them: (Outside of Big Ten) Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), Reggie Jackson (Boston College), and Khalif Wyatt (Temple) — (In Big Ten) Trey Burke (Michigan), E’Twaun Moore (Purdue), and Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin).
Q: What was the toughest team you played in your four years at IU?
HULLS: In my opinion, I played in the toughest conference in the country. Every game in the Big Ten was always going to be physical and tough, no matter who you were playing. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one team because there are two that really stick out in my mind. I have to say Wisconsin was one of the toughest teams I ever played because I never beat them in 4 years. Their style of play is different than any other team and they always play at their own pace. The other team that comes to mind is Michigan State. You knew exactly what to expect when playing them and they are obviously well coached. Those two were for sure the toughest teams.
Q: What do you consider to be the biggest shot you’ve made in your career?
HULLS: The biggest shot I hit during my career at IU would probably have to be the 3-pointer against N.C. State my junior year. I hit a big shot my sophomore year against Illinois at home when winning any game was huge for us but I think that the N.C. State shot had more significance because it was our first big road win and that kind of got us some recognition that we were for real. It was a great win for us and glad I was able to be a part of it.
Q: What’s one interesting thing that not many people know about:
Cody Zeller: He’s known as a prankster, loves cookies/food, and is a good basketball player. However, people don’t know that Cody lost to me in an eating contest two summers ago at a Sushi restaurant in Indy. I’ll probably never challenge him again and just remain the Champ.
Victor Oladipo: Everyone knows pretty much everything about Vic, he’s pretty outgoing. He loves Chipotle.
Will Sheehey: Will is a twin, I don’t know if people know that. Also, my dad and I call him “Milk”, the only ones to call him that nickname. There was a guy we played against that went by “Juice” and so we somehow came up with calling him “Milk” because if someone can be called juice then naturally “Milk” was other choice.
Derek Elston: The kid is a pretty good cook. When we were roommates he would always be trying new things to make, breakfast was probably his best.
Coach Crean: I have never seen Coach shoot a jump shot. Ever. He would always demonstrate drills and such but he never actually fired it up there. Maybe he did it so we could just get on with the drill because he was always super efficient with practices and what we had to get done…But 4 years and never see him shoot a jumper? Pretty interesting, haha.
JOURNAL ENTRY #11: ATTACK IN BERLIN, AND A SPECIAL TRIP TO THE HOSPITAL
I’m hoping everyone has had a great December thus far, enjoying the Christmas season and getting ready to bring in the New Year. I’ve heard the weather hasn’t been too friendly to those back home in Indiana, especially with the unexpected icy roads leading to a lot of crashes on the highway last week. Hope everyone is fine and made it through the typical crazy Indiana weather, I don’t miss that!
In Germany, the weather isn’t too terrible in my city. We are by the water so there’s a cold breeze but it hasn’t snowed or anything yet and honestly the last couple weeks haven’t even produced ice on windshields, which I love because then I get a couple extra minutes of sleep knowing I don’t have to scrape it off! Let’s hope it stays that way! I only like snow when it’s on Christmas and when I was little and could actually go out and enjoy it via sledding. Now that I just said all this though, the chances of terrible weather are much higher…
Moving on from the small talk..Not a whole lot has gone on since my last post, but a few things I want to mention:
- I’m sure a lot of you have seen the recent news on what happened in Berlin. If not, you can get better details from the news but there was an attack at one of their Christmas markets and some people were killed and many injured. My city isn’t near Berlin but nevertheless, it’s still just so crazy how these things are happening all over. I mean, I was just in Berlin walking through one of their Christmas markets a little over a week ago. I reached out to one of the players I know on the Berlin team and he said they were all fine, but just so sad. I didn’t bug him with questions as I’m sure he was getting hit up with a million messages, so I don’t know the updated report or any other news that’s going on at the moment. There’s not much we can do except just pray that these attacks stop.
- I went through a pretty humbling experience last week. One of my German teammates asked me to join him on a trip to the local hospital to visit with a young fan, Benjamin. Benjamin just turned 15 years old is going through a tough time that nobody should have to endure, battling a brain tumor. When we went to see him he had just been operated to remove the tumor and has been bed ridden since. Now, the toughest part for me was that nobody was speaking English so I couldn’t quite get the whole story right then and there until I talked with my teammate afterwards.
I went in expecting not to understand much of what was being said so it wasn’t a big deal, but what I could understand is that he was fighting hard to show his emotions that he was happy to see us. Due to his surgery and treatments, he was very weak, could barely show any emotions, couldn’t talk except yes or no, and just mentally and physically drained. However, he did his best to engage with us and again it was clear he was an Eisbären fan.
After we had spent about 20-30 minutes with him, it was time for us to let him get some rest. Unexpectedly, my teammate asked if I would like to pray for Benjamin. Of course I said that I would love to and went on to say a prayer for him and his family. The awesome part about it was that although we hadn’t spoken a word of English since being in his room, everyone understood what was happening at that moment. I’m thankful that I had that opportunity because it was another reminder of how blessed we are for health, but also because I had the chance to meet a very special kid who is stronger than I’ll ever be.
Every day since then I’ve thought of Benjamin and just hope he knows that he probably made more of an impact on me than we did on him. He has a long road to recovery ahead but I know he will keep fighting! My good friend Cody Zeller said it perfectly in his story in The Players Tribune, when he talked about a similar visit he had with a young girl who’s going through a hard time as well. Cody said, “Kids may be smaller than us, but they’re stronger than we give them credit for.” My dear friend couldn’t be more right.
Now, let’s talk some IU hoops. We all know our game against Butler didn’t go as well as we would’ve liked. Credit must be given to Butler though, they did what Butler does. They played hard, didn’t turn the ball over, messed up our rhythm offensively, and made us pay for our mistakes -- they’re a good team. We didn’t execute in the first half like we needed to and we missed our outside shots.
Defensively we didn’t execute on some things either, or at least it looked like it from my point of view, like on ball screens and what coverage we wanted to do. They had a guy get hot in Kelan Martin and yes he made tough shots but he also got some easy ones. With all that being said, we still had our chances in the last 5 minutes of the game. I was proud of how our guys fought back, but unfortunately it still didn’t get the job done.
Like I said, Butler is a good team, and as I mentioned in the podcast with Justin Albers, this is a game that we can learn from and use to help us down the road. I remember my senior year we lost to Butler when we were the #1 team in the country, and obviously it wasn’t fun losing to another in-state school, but there were things we took from that game to help us. I know Coach will go through the film and help the guys get better from this loss and I hope the guys respond well to it and remember there’s a lot of season left.
In the game of basketball, there are always new things to learn. From high school to college and then from college to the pros, I’ve learned so many different aspects of the game. I’ve played for numerous coaches in different countries with different philosophies and what I’ve learned is that each day I play this game, there is always something new to be discovered. It can be a simple thing such as knowing what pass is best coming off a ball screen or it can be learning a whole new defensive scheme that tailors to your personnel on a particular set run by the opposing team. As a player at IU, I think what Coach Crean made me realize even more is that it’s important to understand why you’re doing the things you are doing, not just simply doing it because you’re told to.
Just by me understanding that concept, as simple as it sounds, it has helped me adapt to every new situation I’ve had to come in since being a pro. It allows me to understand exactly what the coach wants which then allows me to be a better PG by putting my guys in the right positions in order for us to have a chance of being successful. You can get better in a variety of ways and much like the importance of fundamentals, the desire to get better through knowledge is essential. Now, I say all this because this is something the players can use as they go through film and try to learn from this loss to Butler.
I know the coaching staff is doing their best to relay to these guys the importance of executing a game plan and understanding why this works or why this won’t work. It can be a cruel game, bringing us the highest of highs and lowest of lows, but I love it!
To wrap things up, I’ll give you the Fun Fact of the Week!
- I hate fruit. I can only eat grapes, bananas, and oranges. Maybe some canned peaches but haven’t had those in years. I hate strawberries, watermelon, mango, kiwi… I can drink some of their juices though. I like apple juice but can’t say I’ve actually ever eaten a whole apple, the skin bothers me. Weird, I know.
- I love Ping Pong. In high school, one of my best friends had a table and we would play what felt like every day. I’m a bit rusty since I haven’t played in a while but I am always down to play. Jonny Marlin is the best ping pong player I’ve ever played against though, he’s quite good.
That’s all I got for y’all! Hope you enjoyed this week’s post and remember to comment and share! Thanks for all the support and until next time, Go Hoosiers!
Your Hometown Hoosier,
JOURNAL ENTRY #10: GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKETS AND 'WESTWORLD'
Hope you all had a great week, seems like they are just flying by which isn’t a bad thing. I can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner. Before you know it, April will be here and I’ll be a dad! Aubrey gets here in a couple weeks so that’s also something I’m looking forward to, Skype/FaceTime are great but nothing better than actually talking face to face, ha.
This past week, I was able to watch a whole game of our Hoosiers which was nice not having to stay up until 3 in the morning to cheer them on. Even with OG being on the bench, it wasn’t much of a contest as expected. This past game I was most impressed by Thomas Bryant because even though we weren’t able to throw the ball inside like we needed to, he was still able to have an impact on the game. He has improved a lot from last year with his foot speed, maturity, and obviously his range. I’m excited to see him for the rest of the year, he will be huge for us. I’m also looking forward to our matchup against another in-state school, Butler. Will be a big game for us to make a statement against another great team, always great for the state of Indiana when our teams are doing well.
The Christmas markets are in full swing as I mentioned in my last post, and it’s awesome. I was able to go to the Bremen Christmas market on Saturday and it was great. The old churches and buildings are all lit up with lights along with pop up stands all up and down the streets. These pop up stands have authentic German cuisines (i.e. brat wurst, everywhere) which is great and also all these cool little shops with handmade items that are priceless. I’ll attach just a few of the photos I was able to take, but it doesn’t do it justice. I’m really not sure why we don’t make this more of a big thing in the USA, I would be completely OK with that.
Aside from that, I’ve been doing the usual. If you’ve followed along at all, you know that means TV shows/movies and practice. We had a poor showing in our last game, which was bad because it was at home and we just didn’t play well. It was one of those games that they executed perfectly and made us pay for our mistakes, every single time.
This week we have to get back to work and improve. We head to Berlin to play on Sunday, so it doesn’t get any easier for us. Every game is tough and we have to bring it.
Off the court, my TV show watching abilities is at an all time high. I know, quite the accomplishment. Have you all seen WestWorld?! I just watched the whole first season and it was a doozy. It started off a little slow because they had to lay out the plot and characters and all that but man, the last 3 episodes were well worth it. I highly recommend it.
Lastly, I wanted to make a quick shoutout to my guy Keaton Hendricks and his team at Sky Footwear. Sky creates stylish socks for their customers while also making an impact on those in need. Their motto is “You Buy One, We Give One”, meaning that for every pair purchased, a pair will be donated. They’ve impacted communities all over the state but for this month it’s going to make a difference right in our favorite place, Bloomington. For every pair purchased in December, a pair will be donated to the Shalom Community Center. I’m happy to say that their products are not only good quality but also serve a bigger purpose, which is something I truly admire about Keaton and his team at Sky Footwear. For more information about their mission and products, visit Sky-Footwear.com | Instagram & Twitter: @Sky_Footwear
Thank you all for following and please comment and share! Would love to hear what you all have to say and want to interact as much as possible. Until next time, Go Hoosiers!
Your Hometown Hoosier,
JOURNAL ENTRY #9: INDIANA-UNC, THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET, AND NEW TV SHOWS
Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and ate all the food your stomach could handle -- I know I did. Although it doesn’t to compare to Thanksgiving at home with family, we had a great dinner as a team here in Germany and it was great for our German friends to indulge us and make an effort to help us feel more at home because missing holidays makes it even tougher being so far away!
Now, I know that we didn’t see the best performance from our guys in candy stripes this past week, but the season is young and we have a lot of time to continue growing. I wasn’t able to watch the game so I can’t comment much on it but I know that this is a young team that is still learning and we need to stand behind them through the highs and the lows! They were able to get another game/win (another game I wasn’t able to watch unfortunately) in before we play our next big opponent, North Carolina, which I think was good for us to get back out there and try and put to work what they needed to improve on from their loss and hope that carries over going into the next game.
How about the Hoosier Football guys keeping the Bucket!? I didn’t get to watch that game either but was able to see some highlights and was pumped to see it was staying in BTown once again and that we are going bowling! Glad to see that they’re going to a bowl in back-to-back years, great for the program and great for the University.
As I mentioned in my last journal, this week was going to be busier because we had three games in 7 days, which isn’t normal, and then throwing Thanksgiving in the middle of that. We were able to win 2 out of the 3 games this week, which was great for us because we needed to get some more wins under our belt and get in a rhythm. Each game we played much better than previous weeks and executed what we needed to by being more focused.
The game we lost was on the road against Telekom Bonn, who’s a good team in this league. We played them tough but in the end we missed some shots and didn’t get stops when we needed to and ended up losing, 98-93. I played well this week but I think that was due to our team playing much more focused and getting into a good rhythm. I think playing more games per week would benefit us so we could stay in that rhythm, but unfortunately we go back to playing once a week.
We play at home this Friday and are looking to protect our home court as we haven’t had as many games at home this first part of the season. If we have the same focus and energy this week in practice as last week, I think we should be just fine.
Off the court — anyone have any new shows for me to watch?! I’ve caught up on "Arrow" so I have to wait every week to watch the next episode, which is annoying, ha. The newest show on my radar is called Westworld. I watched the first episode and it's a little different genre than what I’ve been hooked on lately but it really sparked my interest so I’ll probably finish that in a week or two.
My wife and I like to watch The Voice, so I have some episodes to catch up on with her…. but other than that I’m up for anyone else’s suggestion on a new show, I’ve got plenty of time! If no one has a good TV show that I haven’t seen, what about a good book to read? Podcast? Anything for me to pass the time while using my brain a little bit is always good and I appreciate any help, ha!
As always, I appreciate your support and want to interact with ya’ll as much as possible so don’t hesitate! Contact me on here through the comments, @JordanHulls1 or @JH1Skills on Twitter, or @TheAlbersAngle. Until next time, Go Hoosiers!
Your Hometown Hoosier,
JOURNAL ENTRY #8: THANKSGIVING WEEK AND STEPH CURRY'S ACT OF KINDNESS
How the heck are ya? I’d imagine that everyone is pretty good after seeing our Hoosiers
getting bumped up in the polls, not too shabby at all! I’m excited for this young team as the season goes along and see how well they respond to all that is thrown at them.
Aside from the court, the football team went to Michigan and played a good game on the road against one of the best teams in the country. Also, the men’s soccer team advanced in the NCAA tournament, which is great. I’ll never forget when my best friend Caleb Konstanski and his team went all the way our senior year and I was able to go to Alabama and cheer them on. One of the coolest things I’ve done, what an atmosphere it was and how cool to see friends achieve the ultimate goal.
As for me, my wife had an appointment with her doctor to check on how she was doing as well as the baby. I was able to FaceTime Aubrey and be a part of the visit as well, which was awesome. That’s definitely been the hardest part for me this year, that I’m away from all that is happening and not there all the time for Aubrey when she needs it. I do my best with our situation, but I can only do so much. She has been great though and all is going as planned! Our baby boy is getting bigger and we are thankful for this exciting time in our lives.
As I mentioned last week, I was playing against Chris Kramer and his team this weekend
in our “Derby” game. It was a great game and we were able to pull off the win after going into OT. This was a huge game for us because we had lost some games in a row and needed some success to get us going as we move forward. The game was held in a different gym located in Bremen, Germany which held about 9,000-10,0000 people. Since it was a rivalry game, the place was nearly sold out and it was a fun atmosphere to play in. It wasn’t quite like Assembly Hall -- nothing really can compare -- but was great nonetheless.
Bremerhaven hadn’t won a game in this series in 8 years so that was also icing on the cake! It’s a quick turnaround for us this week as we play again Wednesday and Sunday. This is rare for us to play more than once a week but I’m not opposed to it at all, I would much rather play more games a week because it allows you to get in a flow and it doesn’t make the weeks feel as long.
Can you believe that this week is Thanksgiving? I’ve told you before, I love food. So, as you can imagine I’m a little sad that I have to miss Thanksgiving every year. I’m dreading going on social media this week and seeing all the glorious food that all my friends and family will be enjoying. My team is actually having a Thanksgiving dinner however, which is a lot better than nothing. It will be fun to get together and enjoy some Thanksgiving-like foods as we try and show the Germans exactly what we do on this day.
I tried to explain it the other day to a teammate but the farthest I got was that we just eat as much as we can and sit on the couch watching football… Pretty accurate I thought. Needless to say, it won’t be like a Thanksgiving at home but it is great that Coach was wanting to do this and make us all take part in this day.
Last little side note….
I saw on Twitter today a picture of a young boy named Brody who is currently staying at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. He is a basketball fan and his favorite player is Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, who just so happened to be playing the Pacers on Monday. Steph Curry took time on his off day to go and meet Brody, obviously making it a highlight of his life that he will never forget. I know that there are other stories of players doing similar things, but since this was happening right at home in Indiana, it was hard to miss. I think it is so awesome when players use their sport as a platform to make an impact on the lives of other people. For Steph to take time to do that shows a lot about his character. I mean, how great is it that no matter what Brody was going through that day or week or year, just a little time spent with his favorite basketball player made him so happy. I just thought that I should mention something about it because we need all the positive and uplifting stories we can get in this crazy world. Thanks to Steph and all the other players/celebrities/etc. who use their platform for a great cause and impacting lives… And even bigger thanks to Brody and anyone else in a similar situation for being great examples of courage, strength, love and faith.
That’s all from me this week ya’ll. Don’t forget to share and comment! Anything on your mind? Let us know! I’d be glad to answer any questions or discuss other topics! I appreciate all of those who follow along and for all the support. Go Hoosiers!
Your Hometown Hoosier,
Watch Curry's visit to Riley Hospital here. http://indy.st/2gecu5f
JOURNAL ENTRY #7: ON INDIANA'S BIG WIN OVER KANSAS
How about them Hoosiers?! We couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the season! I wasn’t able to watch the whole game because it was so late my time and I had early practice the next day, but I saw most of the first half and I was pleased to see the rest of the highlights when I woke up the next morning.
It was such a great win for us because it gave us confidence moving forward and allowed us to make a statement early. Now, I know it’s only one game but it still means a lot to the program. Coach Crean and staff won’t let it get to their heads and know that now they have to work even harder to maintain this play. Also, what a great experience for those guys to get tour all the history there in Pearl Harbor, an opportunity that I’m sure everyone involved cherished. That is a place that I would love to visit sometime. I’m forever grateful for all of those who have and continue to serve our country.
A few takeaways I had from the game that I was able to see in my limited time watching it: I love how versatile we are. We have a lot of different weapons all over the court and being able to spread the floor because of everyone’s capability to shoot the ball is huge. Also, when we get consecutive stops, we can get out and run which is to our advantage with our depth. It was a lot of fun to watch and I’m sure the guys love the style of play as well.
What did you all think about the game? Besides the big statement win and moving up in the rankings, what are the best qualities you see from this team? Again, I know it’s only the first game and there’s lots of room to grow but we are Indiana basketball fans after all - it’s just how we are, never too early, ha!
Aside from that, not a whole lot going on here. Germany is getting pretty cold right about now and in my city there isn’t much sun so the days go by pretty quick. It’s hard to believe it’s almost halfway through November already, time is flying by. Christmas will be here before we know it! Which also means Aubrey will be back here to visit pretty soon too, always good to have something to look forward to.
If you all haven’t heard, Germany is known for their Christmas markets so we are getting pretty pumped to be able to experience them together again this year. Last year we drove to Cologne, Germany for their Christmas market, it was unreal. The city itself is already pretty cool but add all the food shops, pop up stores, and everything else a Christmas Market consists of. It was a great experience and highly recommend it if you ever get the chance.
We played in Munich this weekend and lost there to one of the best teams in the league. We are in a little bit of a slump but I’m hopeful that we will get out of it and get a rhythm going. There’s a lot of season left and we have time to turn it around, every team in this league is good so we have to bring it every night.
This week I get to play against another Indiana kid, Chris Kramer, which will be fun to see another familiar face out there. Funny enough, his team is our rival so even at the pro level we are still on rivaling teams.
It’s awesome to see how well Indiana basketball is represented at the pro level. Braydon Hobbs, Jake Odum, Chris Kramer, Gary McGhee, Karvel Anderson and myself are all Indiana kids just playing in Germany alone (that I know of). I played AAU with Braydon Hobbs in 3rd/4th grade to middle school; played against Jake Odum my whole life in AAU and were teammates for Indiana All-Stars; Played against Chris Kramer in college; Played against Gary McGhee growing up in AAU and we were actually teammates for a short stint while playing in Kosovo; I am currently teammates with Karvel Anderson. Just crazy how small the basketball world is and I think it’s cool to be able to share that with people and say that I’m from THE BASKETBALL STATE.
That’s all I have for you today, but please be sure to comment and let us know what you think! Now that Indiana basketball is underway, I’m sure we will all have something to talk about and would love to chat it up! Have a great week folks and thanks as always for taking the time to follow along with me, hope you enjoy it!
Until next week, Go Hoosiers!
Your Hometown Hoosier,
JOURNAL ENTRY #6: HOW I LEARNED TO SHOOT A BASKETBALL
Another week has gone by but a lot has happened since last post. The Cubs, yes the Chicago Cubs, won the World Series, Indiana basketball won their first two exhibition games to get ready for the real thing, Cody and Vic signed contract extensions, Women’s basketball handled business as well, Men’s soccer is advancing in B10 Tourney, Hoosier Football got a win on the road, the Colts won in Green Bay...and I started reading my “dad” book.
Much more I could name but it’s been a crazy week to say the least.
First things first, I want to answer a question asked following last week’s post:
“Since he’ll be preparing a son for the “2035 recruiting class,” I’m wondering what his memories are on how he was introduced to basketball as a child, and how he developed into the player he did. How did his parents handle him, and would he do things the same or differently with his own child. Also, how did he develop that “side shot” of his."
This is a great question. Basketball has been in my family for generations so I have always have a passion for the game starting at a very young age. Having an older brother who played basketball and baseball, I was always at his games from newborn to my early toddler years with a ball in hand at all times. Of course my parents saw my interest and guided me until I was the one who told them that I wanted to work on my skills.
One of my earliest memories of basketball was when I had to have been 4 or 5 years old and I had my mom put me through some cone ball-handling drills in our driveway and I haven’t stopped since. Growing up, I played basketball, baseball, and football. Aside from the passion I had, I personally think that playing a variety of sports helped me develop and enhance skills that ended up helping me become the player I am today. I got tougher from football, improved hand-eye coordination from baseball, mental toughness from all sports, and developed many other skills along the way which just so happened to work out best for me with basketball in the end.
My parents always told me they never had to force me to want to play, I was obsessed from the beginning, which is exactly what I would want for my children. I will want my kids to compete in sports because I think it teaches us so many life lessons that can help us off the court.
With that being said, if my child ends up not being passionate about a sport then I would never force it on them to pursue something they didn’t desire. The way my parents handled it would be exactly how I would want to do it. My dad was my coach for most of my life through middle school and obviously helped me as more of a “trainer” once I got to High School. I’m not going to lie -- once I decided that I wanted to get serious about basketball at a young age, he challenged me and it was tough. Being a coach’s son isn’t always easy and I learned so much by being the kid who had to work harder than everyone else to make an impact on the court because that’s what he expected of me.
Even though I may not have known it or felt it then, he was helping me become the player I am today. He made me tough mentally and physically because he knew I had a special passion for the game and he did everything he could to get the most out of me, and he did. Looking back now, it’s crazy to think of how hard we worked and how much I loved the game at such a young age. I’ll never forget the day I told him I wanted to get serious about basketball.
I was about 9 years old and I wanted to work on my form. This was the beginning of an obsession, even though it started out as one of the most frustrating things ever. I was a “flinger” when I shot because I was a little guy, and I wanted to be able to shoot while having good form so my dad took me through the same drills he learned from his dad. My grandfather was a shooting coach for Coach Bob Knight at Army and IU, and he taught the “open window” shot.
The “side shot”, as most people call it, may look different but it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. I’m a little guy so getting my shot off quickly and efficiently is very important. With my shooting form, I’m able to see the rim at all times (most guys shoot through their face and vision gets blocked for split second) and I’m able to get shots off quickly because my shooting pocket is high. There’s lots of things to it but those are keys for me.
To this day, when guys see me shoot for the first time, they think I’m crazy and always make fun of it/imitate it. I don’t mind though because my percentages/efficiency don’t lie and like I always say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
That’s just where my passion for the game came from. I can’t thank my parents enough for all they did to get me to where I am today. I’m glad they pushed me to the limits because they knew I had what it took to handle it and use it to achieve my goals. I will raise my children with the same care that they showed me and will push them when they need to be pushed. Whether they pursue sports or not, I will support them in whatever they are passionate about and I can’t wait to have the opportunity to do that!
I know that was a novel of an answer, but nevertheless thanks for the question! Hope I covered it all… haha.
To wrap it up, a few comments:
— I just want to comment on how awesome and proud of my guys, Cody and Vic, I am. I wrote in my last post about how I was so happy for them and that was before all this great news. They deserve it and I couldn’t be happier for them because not only are they great basketball players, but they are great people.
— How about the Cubs?! I actually watched the whole game, stayed up until 6 a.m. It was the best baseball game I’ve ever watched and to be able to see history live like that was something I’ll never forget. Also, how awesome it is to have a Hoosier win a World Series!? Schwarber is the man and had a heck of a series.
Send your questions/comments our way! I would love to answer and chat it up with ya’ll, this is fun for me and hope it is for you as well. Until next time!
Your Hometown Hoosier,
JOURNAL ENTRY #5: GOODBYES ARE NEVER EASY
Well Hoosier Nation, it’s a sad day because my wife left to go back home to good ole’ Indiana. We had a great 10 days together in Germany, but good-byes never get any easier.
We were able to spend great quality time doing what we love: traveling to new places, shopping, and being lazy together. During the week we were able to make a trip to Hamburg, Germany which is about 2 hours from Bremerhaven. It was a nice city with lots of great shopping and cool building structures.
The one thing that was different about this trip was that instead of finding things for ourselves, we bought outfits for our baby boy… It’s a little early but we just couldn’t resist all the cool outfits we just happen to come across… One thing is for sure, he’ll be stylin’.
Other than touring Hamburg, we were able to walk around Bremerhaven some more during the week and just get to enjoy one another’s company. Our time was spent mostly going to grocery store, watching movies, cooking dinner (well Aubrey did the cooking, I did the eating), and just talking about life and what lies ahead. It’s truly an exciting time for us and our families, we can’t wait!
Now that she is gone though, it’s back to the normal routine. Aside from my normal TV shows and new “expectant father book”, I’ve been getting into different Podcasts as of late.
I have listened to a few of the IU related ones but other than that I haven’t listened to many others regularly before until one of my teammates had one playing in the car on our way to practice, it was JJ Redick’s podcast and I loved it. Of course it helps that he was one of my favorite players/sharp shooters to watch growing up but still caught my interest with the content of his show.
Basketball is obviously main part which I like but he also gets some awesome guests to come on and talk about their life and what it took to get to the highest level not just in basketball but in other areas as well. Just something I’ve recently gotten interested in as another thing to not rot my brain like tv shows/movies… any suggestions for great podcasts, of any genre?! Help me out people!
Side note: I’m so happy NBA has finally started and that college basketball is right around the corner. I don’t watch every NBA game, but I love keeping up with how Cody and Vic are doing. They’re both having great careers and I’m happy for them, they will be in the league a long time because they’re so valuable. I hope they can make a run in the playoffs so I’ll be able to catch a game in person, I haven’t seen them or my Hoosiers play yet since I’ve graduated IU, woof! Being a fan from afar is tough, but it is what it is!
Thank you all for catching up with me on this week’s short entry and hope you continue to do so. I really enjoy getting my thoughts out there and would love to get more out there on other topics as well that come from you all! Please let us know if there is anything you’d like me to discuss or answer, would love the interaction! Appreciate ya’ll and Go Hoosiers!
Your Hometown Hoosier,
JOURNAL ENTRY #4: MY WIFE AND I ARE HAVING A BOY!
Hope everyone was able to enjoy Hoosier Hysteria, it was truly always one of my favorite nights each year as a player. I wasn’t able to tune in at all over here because I had a game myself, so I just had to catch up through highlights that I could find online.
An update on my team: As I mentioned, we had a game Saturday night on the road and we were able to pull out a much needed win. We were down almost the whole game and in the final 6 minutes we were able to make our push, finally taking the lead with under a minute to play. I was able to hit 4 clutch free throws down the stretch to help seal the win. I was taking what the defense was giving me and not trying to force anything, so I was doing most of my damage in the game by getting my teammates involved. I ended up with 11 assists and it was a great team effort for a much needed win!
Besides the victory, another cool thing that happened was that I had some more Hoosier fans come and support me! Hoosier Nation once again proves why it has the best fans. An old family friend is now living in Amsterdam and she was able to bring her family who was visiting to make the 3 hour drive just to watch me play. What an awesome surprise it was, can’t ever appreciate enough all the support. (Attached is a photo of them with my wife Aubrey).
As for my life outside of basketball, things are very exciting at this point in my life. If you weren’t able to see on social media, we announced that Aubrey and I are expecting our first child in April 2017! Finding out that I will become a father has been the best thing to ever happen to me, I still can’t believe it! Our baby boy will be a true Hoosier from day one and I can assure you he won’t lack any gear! Aubrey has been given great news from the doctors and all is good/healthy, which is all we could ever ask for. Recruiting class of 2035 is in full force, I can’t wait.
Now that it’s a new week, my wife Aubrey and I are now just enjoying some quality time together and glad we finally got to share with the world our great news. We haven’t been able to do much except walk around and eat out around Bremerhaven, however tomorrow we are making a trip to Hamburg, which is just about 1 hour and 45 minutes away from Bremerhaven. It is supposed to be one of the nicer cities in Germany, so we are excited to make some new memories together. I will be sure to share some pictures/videos with y’all when I can!
Since this is a special week with Aubrey actually being here and with all that’s going on in our lives, we thought it would be neat if she would just share a little bit about what life is like being a basketball wife/challenges of living apart and her thoughts on my career.
Hey y’all, it’s Aubrey! Being a basketball wife definitely poses challenges mentally/emotionally,
Out of the last 4 years, we’ve been apart 3 of those years with just about 20 days of seeing each other during the season. It’s not ideal, however I wouldn’t want it any other way. I knew coming into this relationship that basketball was a huge part of Jordan’s life and that sacrifices would be made on both sides. I am just so proud of him and all that he’s been able to accomplish. He’s doing what he loves and he gets to travel all over the world doing it. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play their favorite sport that they’ve done their whole life and get paid doing it?
Although it’s very difficult, we’ve also had some of our best memories together because he is playing in Europe. From traveling all over Italy to seeing Paris, there are definitely benefits of all the sacrifices we’ve made for one another. We know that it isn’t fun in short term but in the grand scheme of things it will all be worth it. I’m so glad I get to be his wife and support him and his dreams because as we start building a family, we will always be able to recall on all the life lessons learned through our experiences when “daddy played Pro Ball overseas”. Can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us!
Hope y’all enjoyed this week’s entry and be sure to keep checking in every week for more on what’s going on in my life these days. Thanks for reading and don’t be afraid to contact us and share your thoughts, feelings, or any questions you may have — would love to interact with everyone!
Your Hometown Hoosier,
JOURNAL ENTRY #3: HOOSIER HYSTERIA
Hoosier Hysteria -- There is nothing else like it. Go out and see the Hoosiers and bring canned goods for those in need, what an awesome way to spend an evening.
I’ll never forget my first Hoosier Hysteria experience as a player, there is something special about running out in front of a sold out crowd for the first time with the guys that have become your brothers. Pre-season is tough, mentally and physically, as our coaches are getting us ready for the season. Hoosier Hysteria serves as a chance to show all the fans exactly what you have all been working on but also makes you realize just how special Hoosier Nation is, especially when it’s your first time in front of sold out crowd in Assembly Hall.
My guy, @LukeBilotta, asked me on Twitter what some of my favorite memories were of Hoosier Hysteria. As I said, I will never forget my first Hoosier Hysteria, running out there in my candy stripes for the first time as a hometown kid who had seen so many of my favorite players do before me.
However, my favorite year of Hoosier Hysteria was my last one going into my Senior year when Sage Steele was our MC, which was awesome. Even though it wasn’t my first Hoosier Hysteria, it still was just as special because I knew it was going to be my last. I made sure to cherish every moment because the years had flown by and let’s be real, there’s nothing else like Indiana basketball. It also helped that we had so much hype by being pre-season number one and having a great group of guys, we all were brothers and loved competing with one another so we could become the best team we could be.
We had fun with Derek telling stories, Sage doing her thing with making it all flow, and then we all competed and showed people exactly what we were all about. The three point contests were always fun to compete in but we switched up the rules it seemed like every year so let’s just put asterisks next to whoever won…
For the guys on this year’s team who are experiencing their first Hoosier Hysteria, I would tell them to take it all in because it all goes by so fast. Also, once the night is over the real work begins! This year is also a special Hysteria because of the new renovations made to Assembly Hall, it will be an exciting time for everyone because they’ll get to see the new and improved facility as well as the new group of Hoosiers.
I have obviously been away from BTown and haven’t seen any of the completed renovations in person, but I have been able to see quite a few videos on the improvements… It’s unreal. I must say I can’t wait to see them in person but from what I can, everyone will be overjoyed with the accommodations and upgrades to the Indiana basketball experience. My favorite part about what they were able to do with the renovations was that they kept the tradition, history, and nostalgia of Assembly Hall intact while providing the wide variety of necessary upgrades to enhance the fan experience.
Since I’ve graduated, I haven’t been able to see a game in person, which is sad really, but I can’t wait for the first game I get to see live, especially now in the new and improved facility.
For now, I’ll be with you all in spirit and cheering on our Hoosiers from across the pond.
As a former player, I am forever grateful to have played in the best gym in the country and in front of the greatest fans in the country. I’ll always remember my first and last Hoosier Hysteria. As an Indiana kid attending “Midnight Madness”, I understood the tradition and the meaning of what those nights represented and I loved every second of it.
There’s nothing else like Indiana Basketball.
JOURNAL ENTRY #2: OCTOBER 17, 2016
Homecoming week, I hate missing it every year. I hope you all had a great time and were able to show the Hoosiers some love. Someone please tell me they ate a Village Deli pancake or some Buffa Louie’s wings for me… Having withdrawals over here. Anyway, thanks for tuning in for this week’s entry and be sure to let me know if there’s anything you’d like for me to talk about or really anything you want answered, would be fun and I’d love to!
A week in review:
This past week was full of practice/preparation, Skype/Facetime, TV shows, and sleep. That’s just about how most weeks go once we get in season routine. We played a game Sunday against Brose Baskets, the top team in our league and one of the best teams in Europe. These are the kind of games you always look forward to because you get to see how you stack up against them. I love to compete so these are fun games to play in.
We played a pretty good game and maintained a lead much of the game, however in the end we didn’t execute the way we needed to on both ends in second half and against a great team like that, they make you pay. We ended up losing by 6, which hurt cause I felt like we really had a chance to win. I played pretty well but I can always do better. There are always things to take away from games like that so we just have to review our mistakes and get better from them, there is a lot of season left to play.
Aside from the basketball part of things and me obviously talking with my wife any chance we can get… My TV show binging ability is on another level. Netflix has become a good friend of mine. Right now, I’m currently watching “Arrow”, which I know is an older series but I’ve been hooked on these super hero type shows as of late. I finished the Marvel series on Netflix the past couple months, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, and now I’m going to watch the DC Comics shows to see which I like better. I put out on my Twitter (@JordanHulls1) a poll question about which of these Marvel TV Shows do people like the best with the fourth option being “not lame like you, Jordan”. As expected out of the 352 votes, 38% said that they weren’t as lame as me. Although it’s probably true I’m pretty lame, if people had as much time as me (and other pro ballers can attest to this) they would be binge watching TV shows/movies as well, so I’m really not that lame, just taking advantage of the opportunity. Anyway, if anyone cares, Daredevil had the most votes also at 38% (which I agree is best but recommend all 3).
Now, I don’t want to lead people to believe that I’m just letting my brain rot. I assure you I do other things to stimulate my brain and actually learn something, such as reading. I’m currently re-reading “LEAD…for God’Sake!” by Todd Gongwer.
I first read it in college when, then IU Head Baseball Coach, Tracy Smith gave me the book and said that I just had to soak up everything in this book. I am so grateful Coach gave me that book and I listened to his advice because it gave me a different perspective on my purpose of playing basketball, in life, and in doing what I do. I’ve always been a firm believer that having great character is one of the most important things to possess, and this book helped me realize that even more. I’ve actually had the chance to become good friends with Todd which is such a blessing because he’s an incredible guy to learn from in all areas of life. He just gets it! I highly recommend his book for any coach, parent, player, business leader, really anyone in any background who is looking to make an impact on the people around them through leading the right way.
What’s up for this coming week:
This is actually a really exciting week for me because my wife, Aubrey, gets here Friday! We haven’t seen each other since August 7, so we are excited to finally reunite for a nice 10 day “vacation”. It’s crazy that it’s been that long, but the sacrifices we are making will all pay off in the long run. I am very fortunate to have someone who is so supportive of this crazy basketball life, special!
During her time here in Germany, we hope to be able to do some cool things around my city and in the surrounding cities, Bremen and Hamburg. The most important thing is just quality time together but we love to travel so we are looking forward to spending a little time in new places to check off our list. She will also get to see me play 2 games, which we were lucky about because they’re away games but are both the closest ones all year. The location of my team isn’t too ideal, we actually travel more than double than any other team in the league. I think our longest bus trip is 12-14 hours, which isn’t so bad for a little guy like me because I can sleep across and fit perfect but I feel sorry for the tall guys!
Fortunately though I won’t have to leave Aubrey behind while I travel, which is something that’s happened in the past. When I played in Kosovo, Aubrey came out during spring break for 10 days but I had to travel to Romania, a 14 hour bus trip, and we lost 4 days of time together, not cool.
Aside from the wifey showing up, I’m going to my second session of German classes here. It’s an optional thing that the club has provided and I thought that it would be a fun way to dive into the culture and actually get some real lessons on their language. Out of all the languages I’ve been around the last 3 years, I think German is the most widely used/practical one to learn more in depth that I have with the other languages. Also, gives me another thing to work on instead of watching TV shows all the time, momma would be proud.
That’s about all I have for you all this week folks! Please share, comment, and don’t be afraid to give me more topics to discuss, would love any feedback! This is an awesome way for me to tell my story and give people a glimpse of what my life is like these days. I love staying connected with you all and also a nice outlet for me to get my thoughts out there!
I appreciate you all reading and be sure to tune in next week!
Your Hometown Hoosier,
[NOTE from Justin Albers: To ask questions you'd like Jordan to answer, post a comment here, tweet it to @Justin_Albers or @JordanHulls1, or email email@example.com. And a note to you, Jordy, the lack of a mention of "Stranger Things" on your Netflix binge experience is a shame! I know you want to be a super hero and all, but if you haven't watched Stranger Things, get on it! Below is a quick glimpse of the arena Jordan's team plays in.]
JOURNAL ENTRY #1: OCTOBER 10, 2016
First things first, I’ve missed you. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about BTown/IU… Aside from the most beautiful campus and the Hoosier Family... I definitely miss the Village Deli, Buffa Louie’s, Opie Taylor’s… All the food that BTown has to offer really. It’s just a different life over here compared to what we are all used to. It’s not a bad thing by any means, I’m just saying it’s different and it takes some getting used to.
I am able to go to the grocery store and find almost all that I need so I’m not complaining, it’s just not BTown… But is any other place really comparable? I think not. Of course it helps that it's my hometown and my family is still there, but nonetheless I miss it all. How the heck have ya’ll been?! I hope all is well and that everyone is gearing up for another year of Indiana Basketball, excited for the season to start for them and hoping for another fun year.
As for me, I’m in my fourth year of playing pro ball in Europe and I’m happy with where my career is going. Basketball has taken me all over the world and it’s been awesome to experience different cultures over that last 3 years because it’s allowed me to realize there so much more out there and learn to appreciate all the things this world has to offer as well as be thankful for all that we have back home that we may take for granted.
I’ve played in Poland, Kosovo, Belgium and now I’m in Germany, more specifically playing for Eisbären Bremerhaven. The city I live in is called Bremerhaven, Germany and it’s a small city way up in Northern Germany. I’m playing in the top league (EasyCredit-BBL) here in Germany, which is one of the best leagues in all of Europe so this was a great step for me in my career. I have been here since August 8 and I’m enjoying my time here so far. The coach and the guys are all great to be around which always makes the situation a lot better.
We are currently 2-2 in the league but we have the potential to compete at a high level in this league. I’m playing PG and really enjoying my critical role as being the leader on the court and doing whatever I need to do to help the team; shooting, passing, running the show, all things that I’ve continued to grow with more experience at this level. I am playing well so far- averaging 13 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds a game. I’m happy with where I am at, how I am playing, and looking forward to the rest of the season!
When it comes to every day life, there isn’t a whole lot to do in my city but it’s still a good place to live. I’m a simple guy and don’t need much to keep me happy. We all live in apartments that are all in pretty good condition about 10-15 minute drive away from the gym. Like I said, I don’t need much (especially if it’s just me all alone here) as long as I have my wifi- it’s like gold! I can’t imagine not being able to connect with everyone back home, that would be very difficult. One of the big perks of playing pro basketball in Europe is that everything is taken care of for you - your car, apartment, health care - which is great and saves lots of time and money.
After the first couple weeks, I was able to get acclimated and kind of get used to my surroundings here, with help from my German teammates. They’re life savers because without them, we wouldn’t know half of what we need to know. They help get you in a routine a lot quicker which may not seem like much but it goes a long way. Here is an example of a typical day for me. Let me warn you, it’s very exciting…
Monday: Wake up at 9 to eat breakfast, usually go with something light like “müsli” which is like granola. Team lift at 10-11 then come home and eat lunch and get rested up for practice at 5:30. After practice, I come home and make dinner and talk with my wife to catch up on how her day went/or is going (time difference isn’t our friend). Bed time comes later on, then do it all over the next day.
In the free time I get before and after basketball practices, the main thing I do is watch a lot of Netflix. TV shows, movies, documentaries, you name it I’ve probably seen it or at least know about it. I don’t let my mind wither away completely though, I also read books and work on JH1 Skills Academy and Never Lose Hoop tasks as much as I can from over here, can always get better in all areas! It’s not the most exciting everyday life, but I am playing the game that I love and traveling in Europe, so I can’t complain about it.
It’s a lot of hard work to play at this level, and it’s what I’ve worked toward my whole life. Where I am doesn’t come without sacrifice though. The hardest part about playing in Europe is being away from my wife. Of course I hate being away most of the year from my friends and family- like seeing my niece and nephew grow up- I miss them like crazy, but it’s hard being away from my better half. Out of my 4 years of playing, she was only with me the whole time last year in Belgium. This year we decided it was best for both of us to pursue our dreams, her being a nurse is something that she’s worked at for a long time and she had an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.
She will get to visit me in a couple weeks for 10 days and then again in December for the holidays for about 10 days. Not very much time together over this season which is tough, but we know in the end it will all be worth it. Don’t get me wrong, some of our best memories together have been traveling throughout Europe together and are experiences we will never forget, so good has come out of it for sure. If you have never been to Europe, I suggest you make some plans to do so. There is so much history and cool things to see here that have made living in Europe a unique experience with lots of benefits. I will get to travel all over Germany this year, which is one of the best country’s in all of Europe.
How many people can say they’ve done that? I’ve also traveled all over Belgium, Poland, Kosovo, Italy, France… I’m very fortunate to have had that chance. Although there may be some bad that comes with playing over here, there are definitely great things as well!
I miss a lot of things chasing these dreams of mine, but when you’re a kid from Indiana, basketball is a way of life and it’s provided me with an opportunity to make a living doing what I love. My support system has been nothing short of amazing for always pushing me to be better and helping me grow into what I am today. Basketball doesn’t define who I am but I’m so thankful for the opportunity to use it as a platform to support my family and also impact lives all over the world.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and get a small glimpse of what my life is like these days. I will always be appreciative of Hoosier Nation for their past, present, and future support. I will never forget the many memories of wearing the Candy Stripes for you all! If you ever need me, you know where to find me! Thank you all and just know that I’m always trying to represent Bloomington and Indiana University the best I can! Go Hoosiers!
Your Hometown Hoosier,