The Journal Gazette spent time Saturday with IU guard Jordan Hulls, who graduates May 4 and is preparing to play basketball at the professional level. Here are his thoughts on leaving college, training for the next stage of his life and the fan turnout at an autograph session in Kendallville.
J-G: You're a week from graduation now. How surreal have the past couple of days been for you?
Hulls: It's been pretty crazy. Lot of finals, lot of homework this last week. But, you know, I'm just in the gym working out, just getting ready for the next phase of my life.
J-G: What's it like thinking about your college career coming to a close?
Hulls: I've been trying not to think about it too much because it kind of stinks knowing that you're not going to play any more college ball, but I am excited about what's going to be happening wherever I'll be playing next. I'm just trying to work really hard at that and see where it takes me.
J-G: You competed in the Portsmouth Invitational earlier this month. What else have you been doing to train and improve?
Hulls: The Portsmouth tournament was really big for me. Go out there, talk to some people, meet some people, play with some really good players out there and some good competition.
Since then, I've just been working on my game, working out with Vic and C-Wat and Cody and all those guys, just trying to play one-on-one or open gym with as many guys as I can – just working on my game.
J-G: How helpful is it to have those guys to go through this process with and compete against day-in and day-out?
Hulls: It's really helpful. Those guys, obviously, they're a little bit more well known than I am, which is good for me from a standpoint of working out with those guys.
Those are the kind of athletes I'm gonna be competing against, and they're good guys. I've been with them for awhile now, and I know they're gonna work just as hard.
J-G: What do you think is next for you? Where do you hope to end up?
Hulls: I'll have a few workouts here and there and just see what happens, honestly. Whatever is best for me and my family. I'm just working my tail off, and whatever opportunities come my way, it's on me to go out there and try and grab it.
J-G: This event is in benefit of your dad's foundation. How does it feel to have a turnout like this? Your hand has to be hurting by now.
Hulls: It's an awesome opportunity for us. It's fun to see all the people come out and support us. It's just cool to see smiles on people's faces just for signing a basketball or taking a picture.
It's going to the Hulls Foundation, it's partially to that, and it's a good feeling to be helping other people out.
J-G: What do you think it will be like to watch IU next year, from wherever you might be?
Hulls: It's going to be difficult. I'm sure I'll get mad at the TV every once in awhile when I'm watching.
But they're gonna work hard, coach Crean and the staff's gonna get em doing things they need to do in order to win, and they still got really good players on the team and guys coming in.
It's going to be good.