I met Hunwick and Novak tonight and...

Submitted by ish on May 11th, 2012 at 11:39 PM

...you should be proud to have both men represent your university.  What struck me most was how intelligent both them are.  They actually put the student in student-athlete.  They were intelligent, articulate and honest.  Other notes:

  • Both were very happy with their Michigan experience;
  • Both had nothing but great things to say about their coaches;
  • Both felt confident in the future of their respective programs;
  • Novak is not nearly 6'5".  He said he's 6'2".  Hunwick said he's 5'6"; and
  • Both read MGoBlog.



May 12th, 2012 at 12:46 AM ^

Someone mentioned that Novak might play overseas.  Did he mention his future basketball plans?

Also that is a cool story bro, but not in the a-hole way.  

Magnum P.I.

May 12th, 2012 at 9:09 AM ^

I've always thought that playing professional sports in Europe would just be the best job ever for a 20-something American. Get to live in an exciting new culture for a few years, actually have some money (not a ton, but more than a backpacker) to travel and live it up, play a game for work, not have any real pressure on you (assuming you're not playing soccer). Go east young man.


May 12th, 2012 at 1:04 PM ^

This is why I have no idea why some players are content in being the 13th man or be in and out of the NBA every other year or playing in the NBDL. I would much rather spend my time playing in Europe for my entire career, make a decent amount of money and retire back in the states or somewhere in Europe. Heck, I'd play a few years in Italy, a few in Germany, France, Spain, Israel, Turkey, even China. It'd be a great experience. But I also love to travel and experience new places.

snarling wolverine

May 12th, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

But on the other hand, American players overseas might find themselves on a team where neither their coach nor teammates speaks English very well, and they might feel culture shock off the court, too.  At the same time, U.S. players are usually expected to be superstars wherever they go and can face a fan backlash if they don't perform that well.  To say it's low-pressure is not very accurate; European basketball fans can be as crazy as soccer fans.  Also,  overt racism still exists in many of these countries (we're talking about fans throwing bananas at black players and making monkey noises, etc.).  A player really has to find the right situation.  Some clubs can be a great fit and some can be miserable.

If you're riding the pine in the NBA, that's not ideal but 1) you're in your home country, 2) you get a guaranteed contract (and for better money than Europe) and 3) you may face less of a fan backlash if you don't perform.


May 12th, 2012 at 10:31 PM ^

I think your concerns are a little overrated and the worst case scenarios, which if the player has a decent agent, he'll be able to find a good spot. Financial concern is definitley overrated. But I also am really cheap and don't care that I wear the same clothes that I did 6 years ago (I'm 23). The only way I could see someone not wanting to do it is if they didn't want to leave the States. But that's tough for me to understand because every time I have visited another country, I have loved the experience. If you don't perform as a 13th man, yeah there would be no fan backlash, but you'd also probably lose your roster spot.


May 12th, 2012 at 1:22 AM ^

This is kind of like having somebody tell you they met your family member, and they were just wonderful. It really has nothing to do with you, but it makes you feel good anyway.


May 12th, 2012 at 9:35 AM ^

Novak is definitely taller than 6'2". I've encountered him quite a few times this year, and he is an inch or two taller than me(I'm 6'3'').


May 12th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

Was there last night.  He's probably 6'3" (my height).  They were both totally down to earth, Hunwick's very excited to have gotten the opportunity in Columbus, and Novak's looking forward to Europe.  

Novak thinks that Beilein has done an outstanding job changing his game plan depending on the talent he has, noting Burke in particular (our offense was nothing like a traditional Beilein team this year).  He's incredibly excited to see what he can do with even more talented players, and some extra size in the post.  


May 12th, 2012 at 10:03 AM ^

Cause the alumni club thing would make more sense since that was where they were speaking, but the after hours strip club thing would make for better gossip. Justy sayin...


May 12th, 2012 at 11:20 PM ^

Almost any athlete would rather play in the MAC than ride the pine at a major program.  They all THINK they are going to get minutes.  Very few players actually choose to ride the pine--they just overestimate their ability to get on the floor.

Now,the pros is a bit different because money is involved.  Riding the pine becomes more tolerable is it comes along with a chunk of cash.  Hell, backup QB in the NFL might be the best job in the world.


May 13th, 2012 at 12:18 AM ^

But the lifestyle difference of being a starter at EMU and playing special teams on the other side of Washtenaw County is huge. I'm not talking about getting laid, probably every FBS player does that easily, but the alumni connections, the immortal nature of being a member of team 13X, ect. are all strong draws, to use M as an example (the same is true at any blue blood schoo, though).

I'd also challenge the assumption that everyone chooses playing time; Russell Bellomy is probably extremely confident in his abilities, but he committed with Denard having two years of elegibility, Devin three (or four) and whispers of Shane Morris coming into the fold as well. I'm not saying he'll never start, but he had to know there was at least a chance that he wouldn't, yet he came to M over Boise, among other suitors.