Growing up in a household centered around sports has its benefits. For senior point guard Jack Hoiberg, one of them was being able to play video games with Kevin Garnett, a NBA Hall of Famer.
A unique aspect of having a family member working at the highest level of the game is the relationships that come along with it. While Hoiberg’s dad, Fred Hoiberg, had an open heart surgery that ended his NBA career as a player in 2005, Garnett would spend time with Jack Hoiberg playing video games.
Jack Hoiberg said being around his father and around basketball has helped him grow as a player.
He has carried the passion of basketball to the collegiate level as he announced his commitment to UTA in April for his final year of collegiate eligibility.
After attending Michigan State University on a basketball scholarship, Jack Hoiberg wanted more time on the court. He said the championship mentality and leadership skills he has can be a helpful resource for UTA’s basketball team. .
UTA stood out to him because of the Southern climate, and the university was the most aggressive in recruiting him, he said.
He spent his last four seasons at Michigan State University and played under Tom Izzo, 2000 NCAA National Champion head coach.
Fred Hoiberg said it was an unbelievable experience for his son to play under Izzo, a Hall of Fame coach.
Fred Hoiberg is the current head coach of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He previously coached at Iowa State University from 2010 to 2015 and served as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 2016 to 2019.
Basketball runs deep in the family. Jack Hoiberg’s brother Sam Hoiberg also plays at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Jack Hoiberg’s leadership skills shined during his tenure in East Lansing, Michigan. Even with limited playing time, he received the third most votes for captain, Fred Hoiberg said.
He said Jack Hoiberg is competitive, tough and has natural leadership skills.
Jack Hoiberg’s accolades at Michigan State University include four Big 10 Championships and making the 2019 Final Four in the NCAA Tournament.
One of the fondest memories Nick Latorre, Hinsdale Central High School basketball head coach, has of Jack Hoiberg during his tenure was the ability to make big plays.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a player, and I’ve been doing it [for] nearly 25 years, who is so poised in pressure situations,” Latorre said.
As a senior at Hinsdale Central, Jack Hoiberg averaged 14.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and two assists per game.
Latorre coached Jack Hoiberg in 2016-2017 as they led Hinsdale Central to a 15-12 record.
“You’re going to get a kid that’s got tremendous leadership qualities, that understands the game of basketball, understands how to get guys involved and take advantage of whatever strengths they bring to the team,” Latorre said.
Jack Hoiberg wants to get into coaching, whether it’s on the collegiate or professional level. He wears a chip on his shoulder with his dad’s reputation in the basketball community.
Fred Hoiberg said his son has a great opportunity at UTA because of its facilities, arena and the competitiveness of the Sun Belt Conference.
“It’s all about the team for Jack and everything you can do to help win,'' he said. “I think whatever Coach [Greg] Young asked him to do, whatever role he asked him to play, Jack’s going to do the best he can to star in that role.”
Jack Hoiberg is optimistic about the season because of the experienced players on the 2021-2022 UTA roster.
“UTA fans can expect a player that is going to work his tail off on the court, be a leader, be tough, bring some playmaking to the floor and really just do whatever I can to help us win games,” he said.