Indiana basketball redshirt freshman Jerome Hunter is participating in all basketball activities as the Hoosiers prepare for the 2019-20 season.
The Ohio native missed the entire 2018-19 campaign after having surgery for an undisclosed lower leg condition.
Below are Hunter’s comments on Tuesday at the IU basketball media day. A press release by IU Athletics is further below.
On what the last year has been like and what he learned.
“I’ve never had to sit out a year before of basketball, so last year really hurt, but as you keep getting through it, you start thinking of other things of how you can get better off the court. So that’s all I focused on, and just how next year I could be the best player I could be.
On whether he went to other things to keep himself busy and stay strong mentally.
“Not really. I watched a lot of basketball. I just tried to be a student of the game. Just learn more and more, as much as I could.”
What’s it like to be fully back in with the rest of your teammates?
“I mean after being out a year, to be back, I’m excited to be back with my teammates, seeing them practice last year, and all of the hard fought games they went through last year I was motivated to get back. I’m excited to back.”
How much when you were sitting out last year did you think you could have helped?
“Last year before I got hurt I was doing really good so I thought I could help the team out real good. I felt like I was really fitting in with the team.
How are you better prepared now?
“Now I feel like I’m better, and I feel like I know my role and I know what coach is going to expect from me this year. Last year being a freshman I really didn’t know what to expect. This year just having experience and being here, and being around everybody just showed me a lot.”
What do think your role will be?
“They recruited my for my versatility and I feel like I’m versatile and I feel like I can just be anywhere on the court that he wants me to be so I feel like that can help the team a lot.”
What basketball were you watching during your down time (NBA or college)?
“I was watching a little bit of both. I watched the college game because I have got to see how the game is played and what I’m missing when I’m out there. And then I watched the NBA too. They’re great guys in the NBA, so I feel like if you watch them, you can get better.”
Your high school and AAU coach said you were obsessed with personal development. Is that kind of mindset something that helped you get through last year?
“There are ways to get better when your not playing. That’s what I really focused on and that’s what I really emphasized on myself to get through my injury period.”
How much do you think about your body play to play, and is it something you can work through?
“I’m getting better and better each day. So it’s like I’m trying to work through things and it’s a day by day thing.
Release from IU Athletics on Jerome Hunter:
Bloomington, Indiana — Redshirt freshman forward Jerome Hunter is participating in all basketball related activities and continues to progress this fall after undergoing season ending leg surgery last year. His return to basketball continues to be monitored by IU’s Men’s Basketball Sports Medicine staff and will be managed accordingly. HIPPA Laws preclude the University from disclosing anything further regarding the matter.
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