For the best interviews in basketball, look no further than The Sports Court. We provide you, the reader, with insight you can't get anywhere else.
WATCH our fourth interview with Shaquille O'Neal, one of the NBA's all-time greats!
Tyler Nelson is an American professional basketball player for the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G League. Greensboro is the affiliate of the Charlotte Hornets. Nelson, born and raised in Massachusetts has been a star is whole life, winning Gatorade State Player of the Year while he was a senior in high school. Tyler had a legendary career at Fairfield, he is the programs all time leading scorer, and in his junior and senior season he made the All MAAC roster. Nelson went undrafted, however that didn't stop him from finding a contract. He played in the NBA Summer League with the Minnesota Timberwolves, before getting cut. Nelson was then picked up by the Hornets/Swarm, being the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA G League Draft. He has since helped the Swarm reach the playoffs, and has built quite the resume for himself.
The Tyler Nelson Interview
2. What was it like to win Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year?
Winning Gatorade player of the year was a major accomplishment for me in high school. It meant so much to me because it was something I set out to achieve before the season started and to see it come true was a testament to the hard work and sacrifices I made to make it possible.
3. How was your time at Fairfield? What did your college experience teach you?
Fairfield was a great experience besides being a college athlete I loved everything about the school it’s filled with great people and students so I will forever be thankful for my time there. Overall my college experience taught me more than just basketball but it brought me friendships that I will have for life.
4. Any tips for High School and College players looking to make an impression?
Tip for high school and college players is to be a hard worker and be a good teammate. Not everyone is going to be a superstar but if you work hard and are a good teammate you will always have a spot on the team.
5. You had the most points in Fairfield history, what does this stat mean to you?
Being the all time leading scorer at Fairfield is an accomplishment that I am extremely proud of. Beyond the record and stat it represents all the hard work paying off over my college career and never giving up.
6. After a Summer League stint with the Timberwolves, you were the 3rd overall pick in the G League Draft, what was being drafted like?
Being drafted in the G League was a moment of happiness that my dream of being a pro basketball player was coming true and that I was one step closer to the ultimate goal of being in the NBA one day.
7. How was your time been with Greensboro so far?
My time in Greensboro was great we had a solid team that was fun to play with and it’s helped me learn and become a better player.
8. Toughest part about the transition from college to pro?
Toughest part of college to pros is the physicality.
9. Best player you’ve ever played against?
10. Largest crowd you’ve ever played in front of?
Cameron indoor stadium vs duke sell out crowd.
11. If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Back to freshman year of college.
12. Who is your biggest role model?
13. Who is in your time five all time?
Kobe, Lebron, Larry Bird, Kareem, and Magic.
14. Favorite movie?
15. Any hobbies outside of basketball, if so what are they?
16. Craziest story from your career so far?
Playing at Duke freshman year, sold out crowd.
17. What separates a pro from an amateur?
Pro is different from amateur because as a pro it’s everyday.
18. Dream vacation spot?
19. Favorite team/player growing up?
20. Go to snack on the road?
Sour patch kids.
21. Biggest misconception about being a pro?
That’s it’s and easy job but it’s actually really stressful
Interview by Chris Dailey
Huge thanks to Tyler for the great interview! Keep up the good work! We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, we're rooting for you!
photo via https://twitter.com/tylernelson14
Matthias Offeciers (#15) is a basketball player for the Antwerp Giants and the Belgium National Team. Offeciers has represented the Belgium team for the u18 European Cup 3v3, and on for the 5v5 u16 Fiba European Championship. Offeciers is one of Europe's most exiting talents, and he has a bright future ahead of him. At only 17, he's established himself as one of Belgium's brightest stars!
The Mathias Offeciers
2. What is basketball like in Belgium?
Basketball in Belgium is not the number 1 sport, but there is a lot of talent for a small country like this. We have a lot of youth programs like Ostend and Antwerp etc, but there’s still a lot of work to do.
3. How did you feel to represent Belgium on the international scene?
It’s an honor to represent my county in every different ways (5v5 & 3v3) and I’m looking forward to playing with Belgium on my chest as much as possible.
4. What was playing the 3v3 European Cup like?
It was a special opportunity for me because it was my first 3v3 experience ever. So I didn’t know what to expect, but I turned out liking it a lot! It was my centered towards me game (1v1 & shoot the ball) which I’m very comfortable with!
5. Best player you’ve ever played against?
I played against a lot of high potential prospects like Haris Bratanovic, Keye Vandervuurst, Vrenz Blijenbergh, etc! But I can’t really pick on because they’re all different types of players!
6. Favorite food?
American pancakes for sure!! I can’t live without them.
7. What are your goals for the future?
Just keep on working, getting better every day and I will try to play at the highest possible level that I can reach! But I definitely want to play as a professional player! I try to become the best version of myself on and off the court.
8. Tips for players who want to play at a high level?
Hardwork is a key, keep the right mentality and listen to your coach!
9. One country you want to go to?
I’ve always wanted to go to Los Angeles, because it seems so nice and I really want to watch an official NBA game.
10. Favorite animal?
My favorite animal is definitely a lion, because they’re like the king of the jungle and I like that!
11. Have you played any other sports outside of basketball?
I started my Spork we are at a soccer player in my town (Boom), but it wasn’t really me thing! So I became a basketball player and I have zero regrets.
12. What’s it like to be the youngest guy on Antwerp?
I want of the youngest players on my team, but that changes nothing to me. It’s what you do on the court accounts, age is just a detail.
13. Best player of all time?
The best player of all time, I have to say that would be Michael Jordan but I think/hope that Kevin Durant will be the next one.
14. Any advice for readers who want to become pro?
Just like I said before, walk your ass off in the gym and keep the right mentality!
Written by Chris Dailey
A big thank you to Mathias for the interview! Truly a great player and great person. Despite english not being his first language, he knocked the interview out of the park! Very mature for a 17 year old! Don't be surprised to see him rise to the top soon! Best of luck in the future Mathias!
Matthew Hodgson (blue) is a professional basketball player for the Brisbane Bullets of the National Basketball League (NBL) which is Australia's top basketball league, and is known to be one of the best basketball leagues in the world. Hodgson, born and raised in Australia, played college basketball at Southern Utah and Saint Mary's. In the professional world, Hodgson has played for teams such as the Frankson Blues, Adelaide 36ers, Waverly Falcons, Knox Raiders, and now, the Brisbane Bullets.
The Matthew Hodgson Interview...
2. What was youth basketball like growing up in Australia?
Youth basketball when I was in juniors was a really competitive time. From my age group alone in the state of Queensland we have had 1 NBA player, 2 Olympians and 6 Boomers representative. So there was a ton of great competition to play against. Most of them lived around the Brisbane area, so it also made the pickup games in the off season really fun and high quality.
3. How did you bounce back from your injury in your rookie season?
That was a really trying time for me. The first words that the surgeon said to me after he finished the surgery was “Well I hope that you like coaching because your playing days are over.” What saved me was that I was fortunate enough to have some really supportive people in my corner who were committed to helping me get back on the court. Probably the most instrumental person in that process was Bruce Gray, the owner of Body World gym in Melbourne. He oversaw my entire rehab process, and helped me get my knee strong enough to pass a physical test and sign a contract with the 36ers. If it wasn’t for Bruce I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.
4. What was your debut like with the 36’ers?
My debut game was quite unexpected. I can’t really describe what I was thinking or feeling during the game as I felt so in tune with it. I can’t remember thinking a lot, I just remember playing and being absorbed in that. It was only after the game that it sunk in that I had done something pretty cool.
6. Best player you’ve ever faced?
The best player that I’ve ever had to guard would be Andrew Bogut. He effects the game in so many different ways, making him truly dominant.
7. What was it like to go play for the Knox Raiders in the Big V? What did that experience teach you?
My experience with Knox wasn’t a pleasant one (no) but it left me with a pretty valuable lesson. I had just come off a good NBL season with the 36ers, re-signed with them for two years, been invited to an NBA mini camp in Dallas and also invited to a Boomers camp. So I came into my time with Knox thinking that I was pretty good and that this team and league was below me. Consequently, I played horribly. On the back of that, I returned to Adelaide for the NBL season and had my worst season in the pros to date. So it taught me to respect the game. Always play hard, respect the opposition, and have a sense of humility about yourself.
8. How would you describe the NBL for NBA fans who don’t know much about it?
There’s not much to really describe. The NBL is Australia’s premier basketball league. It’s a good competitive league where guys get to live their dreams of being a pro basketball player. That’s really all there is to it.
9. What has been your toughest obstacle in your journey to becoming pro?
My biggest obstacle has been my knee injury and myself. I’ve made my best strides as a pro once I was able to get out of my own way.
10. Biggest advice for youngsters trying to become pro?
Simplify and execute. I think too many aspiring pros think that complexity is king, but the complete opposite is true. Then the next challenge is to execute those simple things on a consistent basis. Practice the fundamentals of the game. Focus on strengthening your body AND your mind. Eat quality food. Prioritise your recovery and sleep. Rinse and repeat. When you master these big rocks, that opens up the more advanced methods. But until then, just ruthlessly execute the really simple stuff. You’ll be amazed at how far that will take you.
10. Craziest story from your career so far?
Having to lose a game on purpose in China. I was touring playing for a team that was touring China. The front office of this team was trying to ascertain a business deal with a CBA team. The CBA organisation agreed to the business offer, but under the stipulation that we lose our next game to their team in front of their home crowd. So as players, we had to intentionally lose while making it look like we were trying to win. It was really bizarre.
11. Three biggest things on your bucket list?
See the Northern Lights.
Sculpt a figure from a block of marble.
Design my own at-home gym in a large shed.
12. Common misconceptions about a pro?
That we don’t get bothered by negative feedback from fans. Just because we are advised not to answer back, doesn’t mean it doesn’t piss us off sometimes.
13. Coolest stadium you’ve played in?
Playing in Perth Arena for the playoffs in front of 16000 of their fans was a pretty cool experience.
14. Favorite food?
15. Favorite city?
Melbourne or Brisbane.
16. Any hobbies outside of basketball, is so what are they?
In no particular order: Tim Duncan, Shaq, LeBron, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson.
17. Top five basketball players of all time?
In no particular order: Tim Duncan, Shaq, LeBron, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson.
18. Describe yourself in three words?
I can do it in two: Forever learning.
19. What’s the toughest part about being a pro?
The toughest part of being a pro is having to deal with the pressure that comes with being in such a ruthless working environment. You have to be able to navigate through pressure from yourself, your teammates, your friends and family, your coaches, and the general public to still enjoy the sport for what it is.
20. What are your goals for the future?
My next goal is to make the 2020 Olympic team.
21. The NBL has made headlines for bringing in young American talent such as LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton, what are your thoughts on this?
I think it’s a smart idea for these young Americans to come over to Australia. If a young player has already been identified as a potential lottery pick in the NBA draft, then playing in the US college system doesn’t make a lot of sense. For one, if they happen to perform poorly, it absolutely kills their draft stocks and could see them plummet down the draft boards or potentially fall out of it. Secondly, the US college system doesn’t exactly develop these players, they just get taught how to play within the coaches system and become a robotic servant to that style of play. Thirdly, the majority of the players in the US college ranks that they will play against will not become professional athletes. So for them to come to the NBL where they play against pros, have coaches who will actually teach them how to play the game properly, get paid and be in a great country like Australia is a no brainer to me. How they perform doesn’t even really matter, because even if they perform poorly it won’t really kill their NBA stocks like performing poorly in the college system would.
22. Your biggest tip for players trying to become pro?
My biggest tip would be to focus on your body. The number one thing that prevents athletes from fulfilling their potential is injury. Your body is your biggest asset in professional sports. You can’t get any better at your sport if you’re sitting on the sidelines. So take your strength, conditioning, diet and recovery very seriously.
23. Any last words for the readers?
I actually have a blog site where I write about things that I believe will help young athletes develop into potential professional athletes. The site is www.hodgyology.com. Check it out.
Written By Chris Dailey
Thanks Matthew for the amazing interview! He's a beast on the court, and an amazing person off of it! Keep up the good work with your career, website, and more! You're truly an inspiration! Thanks again man!