Jonathan Heard, the 6-6 Inglewood native and former star at Cal State Northridge is currently the leading scorer in the Finnish Korisliiga, wearing the jersey of Tarmo. The 24 year old swingman, who's currently playing his 3rd pro season, talked to BT analyst Dr FingerRoll about his career so far.
Jonathan, do you have any basketball related childhood memories?
I just remember getting my first basketball court when i was 5 years old and I played night and day until it was time for me to go to bed.
Who was your role model while growing up, both on and off the court? The person that gave you guidance and the player you looked up to for inspiration?
Well, my Mother has always been my role model and my inspiration to play basketball because as a child she was the one who drove me to my games and tournaments and always gave me that support to work as hard as i could.
When was it exactly (if there was a moment) that you understood basketball was going to be your profession?
I was about 11 when i started taking basketball seriously, and started to understand my potential as a player.
You had a successful HS and college career. Were you expecting a call from the NBA?
Was it difficult to choose to play overseas? And how was your adaptation to a new environment (California and Finland seem like two different worlds) off the court?
Yes, it was difficult because I just got done with college and it was my first time outside of the country. I had to get use to the language barrier, the food, the people and definitely the weather. It doesnt snow in California and it snowed a lot in Finland, so that was a big change for me.
And on the court, what were the differences in the game in Finland and then Chile from the NCAA style of play?
The difference is Finland and Chile are both more physical than college and you also have more freedom playing overseas, where college is more of a certain system.
You're back in the Korisliiga this year and you're the leading scorer. Do you think you're ready to take your game to the next level next season?
I feel each year I get better at my game because of the hard work I put in, I feel like I am ready to take my game to the next level because I know how good I am.
For the readers that have yet to see you play, would you describe Jonathan Heard the player? Your stengths and weaknesses or, better, the aspects of the game you need to improve?
Jonathan Heard is more of a slasher and a scorer rather than a shooter. Meaning my game is more all around. My strength is getting to the basket and I don't have any weaknesses but I can improve on my 3point shooting. I like having the ball in my hands and creating for other players.
Who's Jonathan Heard off the court? What do you like to do in your free time while you're abroad and back home?
I'm really big on family and friends. I also love spending time with my girlfriend. I like going to the movies, playing xbox, sleeping, hahahaha. I'm a regular person off the court, I just like to enjoy life.
You majored in journalism: once your playing days will be over (a long way from now) are you gonna put together your basketball experience and your journalism studies to write about basketball?
Yes, after basketball I want to become a sports anaylst and share my knowledge and experience with everyone.
Thank you, Jonathan and best of luck for your career.