After being selected in the first round as the 15th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, it has been a tough transition for 21-year-old Denver Nuggets big man Juancho Hernangomez.
However, the former Estudiantes player is enjoying life his first year in the NBA and has found adjusting to life in the States easier than first imagined.
In January, Hernangomez will return to Europe but instead to the United Kingdom, where the Nuggets become the first Western Conference side to play overseas as they face the Indiana Pacers at London’s 02 Arena.
Recently, London-based PR firm Pitch conducted a Q&A session with Hernangomez regarding his start to life in Denver.
Q: It’s your first season in the NBA, how does it feel to be finally playing in the NBA?
Hernangomez: “I feel really good, I feel really happy to be here, playing for an NBA team. I worked really hard last summer to be here and be at my best. We worked really hard as a team as well to make sure we could be competitive against any team. We are well aware of what our goals are and we want to have a good season. We may even lose four tight games but we never lose hope because we always play really hard in Denver and we manage to bring home some good victories.”
Q: How have you found moving the USA and have you settled in?
Hernangomez: “I wasn’t too hard to adjust to life in the US because my brother came along from Spain and my family was here. I had friends in Denver as well, which certainly helped me. I love Denver. I like to go to the mountains. It’s a big city but it’s not too crowded. I’m really falling in love with this city.”
Q: Is there anything you miss about Spain?
Hernangomez: “Oh, for sure. I love my hometown, my home food, but I’m really happy to be here at the moment.”
Q: What is the difference between playing for Estudiantes and the Nuggets?
Hernangomez: “There is a big difference between playing in Europe and playing in the NBA. Playing in the NBA is a dream for every kid, every player, it’s the ultimate basketball dream, but it is really hard. You need to be ready every single game. Eighty-two games is a long season and we have to be ready physically and mentally every time the coach needs us. It’s completely different but I want to be ready and play here.”
Q: How have your teammates helped you the first few weeks of getting here and getting settled?
Hernangomez: “They helped me a lot. I’m really proud to have these teammates, these veterans like Mike Miller, Jameer Nelson… They help me a lot. I think we have a really good chemistry here. The Nuggets organisation is like a home. We’re all like brothers, like family and we have fun as well, which is certainly good for the team.”