BALLnROLL.com: Around what age did you start taking the sport of basketball seriously as a future player?
Tyler Hansbrough: I never really hung out with the wrong people. I always wanted to play basketball, so I grew up playing with all my friends. I’d probably say I got serious around my junior year in high school. I started playing really good, I started getting recruited, so that’s when I started taking it pretty serious.
BnR: It’s tough to get serious at a young age. Was there someone you could look up to for guidance who helped you along?
TH: I think it’s counter-productive when you try to force someone to get too serious about a sport, especially at a young age, but me and my dad worked out a lot. From early on, it’s something we always used to do. I used to go and watch him and his friends play pickup basketball, so I started playing around with him at an early age and that’s where I picked it up from.
BnR: You mentioned working out with your dad. How can parents help guide their kids down an athletic path without being overbearing?
TH: Well, I think kids should have fun. Don’t try to force them, not everybody is going to be in the NBA, and you can’t take it too seriously at a young age or it’s kind of a turn-off for kids. I think as long as the kids are having fun and playing multiple sports—I don’t really like people forcing their kids to play one sport, to be real serious about it. I like to see kids doing a bunch of different sports, and you know, eventually if they good enough, pick one sport later on.
BnR: What other sports did you play?
TH: I played a lot. Before I got to high school, I played soccer, I ran track, played a little of football—didn’t really like football that much, but I did everything. I cut out everything my sophomore year in high school and kind of stayed on basketball.
BnR: Was there any particular role model outside your family—a coach, a teacher—that helped make you the baller you are today?
TH: I was blessed to have a lot of good coaches early on. I was surrounded by a lot of good teammates, like all my friends in high school—especially my brothers. I still talk to them every day, we all have close bonds.
|Role model||Good influence||Bad influence|
|Your spiritual leader||X|
|Your hard-nosed, hard-working father figure||X|
|The drunk-ass uncle at every family barbecue||X|
‘I worked all my life to get this opportunity today.’
The tradition continues
Ferrari or Lamborghini? Both, obviously.