Updated: Jul 31
Nolan Hickman has been steadily climbing up the 2021 national rankings and does not appear to be done. He has recently moved up to the 30th spot in the 247 rankings, and stands at 51st in the 247 composite rankings. He played a crucial role on a Seattle Rotary team that reached last summer’s Nike EYBL Peach Jam, where he teamed with five-star rising senior Paolo Banchero and high-major 2021 recruit Shane Nowell. On that Rotary team, a primary ingredient within their recipe for success was decision making and ball movement — Hickman did his part, finishing with a 2.4:1 assist-to-turnover ratio along with being the team’s second-leading scorer.
Alongside another competent passer and ball handler in Nowell at Eastside Catholic High School (WA), Hickman led the Crusaders to one of the top seeds in the WIAA 3A state playoffs, which culminated in the program’s second-straight third place finish. For his senior season, Hickman has decided to accept a new challenge with his transfer to Wasatch Academy (UT). A schedule filled with elite competition, plus the added possibility of playing in the GEICO Nationals should solidify Hickman as the next big-time college prospect to come out of Wasatch.
Schools prioritizing Hickman right now include Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, UCLA and Washington, with others from power conferences keeping a close eye on him. What type of player are they pursuing? A point guard who competes at a high level on both ends of the floor, who stands 6’2 with a 6’6 wingspan, with athleticism that’s just starting to truly reveal itself. Hickman has great control as a ball handler, with potential to create shots for himself and an ability to make the right play when he sees an advantage. He excels in transition as well as around the basket in the half court and exhibits nice touch on floaters with advanced body control when slashing. He has off-guard ability as well, and should form quite the dynamic backcourt next to Richard “Pop Pop” Isaacs at Wasatch.
In this interview, Hickman discusses family, his philanthropic endeavors, the decision to attend prep school, what factors he’s weighing in recruitment, overcoming moments of adversity, participating in some of the Seattle protests, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2021 prospect Nolan Hickman, from Seattle, Washington:
Pro Insight: Can you share a bit about your background?
Nolan Hickman: I’m from Seattle, Washington. I live with my mom and dad and my two siblings, my sister and brother. Basketball has been my whole life ever since I was younger, you know, ever since I was pretty much born my dad put the ball in my hands. Ever since then I just ran with it...but I came a long way, though, you know? I haven't been on the “A-Team” all my life. I experienced some hardships being put on the B-team and just felt stuck like, you know...hurt...but I made it through. I’ve worked entirely hard for where I'm at right now. And I'm not gonna stop working until I get where I want to be, which is the NBA.
PI: What does your circle look like?
NH: The people I lean on the most are pretty much myself and family. My family plays a huge part in all of this. It's not just the people I live with...it's my cousins, all of them. They’ve helped me tremendously, especially with what I'm starting with TheGiveBack Foundation. You know, being my age, it's a lot...with all the handling of everything and doing everything. So my cousins have played a huge role in taking ownership and trying to help me with this foundation. Also I lean on my brothers, Paolo [Banchero], Shane [Nowell]...you guys might know them, but I lean on them. My coach, Coach D. Hennings...that's my guy. I lean on him the most. He definitely has insight on what he's talking about. That's pretty much it.
PI: You created and ran your own basketball camp and you’re getting ready to unveil your foundation...can you share a bit about those endeavors?
NH: Well, this all came about last summer. I went to the [Nike] Elite 100 Camp with Paolo and Shane, right? And I'm in the dorm and you know, I'm going through a day’s worth of full training...it's really a full day of training, running drills, learning how to operate during training. So, I'm in the dorm, I'm just thinking, I'm like, “there ain't nobody my age doing camps like this or bringing something like this back to the town at least, you know?” So I'm like, “I think it'd be really dope if I brought all my guys — my little Seattle and Tacoma hoopers — if I was just to bring them all together and just form a camp.” I just thought it would be dope. So, I brought the idea to my parents as soon as I got back home. I'm like, “listen, this is what I want to do. I think it would be awesome.” And I don't do any of this for me — none of this is for me. I just feel like seeing the kids — because I was at that one point, as well — I looked up to all the hoopers in Seattle, like let's say, like Zach LaVine, Baby Boy [Dejounte Murray], I looked up to all of them. I would question myself, like “do they even see me? Do they know how hard I’m working, at least?” So just for me giving back to the kids and for them to see that I'm watching them and looking over them...it warms my heart.
So TheGiveBack Foundation — I'm actually launching it in January, so it should be launching very soon. I just bought my website, nolanhickman.com. I just got to finish up on design and everything, but it's really coming together. And it will only get bigger over time, hopefully. But right now, it’s basically mainly focusing on families who are on the verge of being poor, or, you know, really on that edge of being on that lower-class level. That's who I'm really focusing on — just giving an extra push or being a resource or providing assistance — helping them get to a stable condition...and especially if they got kids. With the kids, I would at least like to assist them with tools or items, anything that they need: if it's school, if it's basketball, if it's helping them out with anything. I just want them to at least come to the foundation, hook them up with this or that or anything. I just want to give back to them.
PI: Why is philanthropy important to you?
NH: It’s so important because my mom — now I don't want to sound like a typical kid or anything — but my mom, she's the strongest woman I've ever seen. She’s really influenced me to give back to as many people as possible. If I'm fortunate enough to give back to anybody who's less fortunate than me, then I have to — or I need to go out of my way to do that. That’s what she’s instilled in me. So my mom, she works at an all-women's group, like, it's hard to explain, but they all have kids. It's a teen group — so the girls are single and going through it with a kid and if they need resources, or help getting set up with a job, or anything, she helps them with that. So, seeing her do that for six-plus years and me helping her anyway I can, I just feel like I want to start my own thing and do what's best for me.
PI: Which Seattle hoopers did you find yourself looking up to while growing up?
NH: Dejounte Murray — I really, really used to study his game...Rainier Beach and Garfield games....I live for those moments! So just seeing them go at it every time, it just gave me a spark...it gave me and all my friends a spark, so it was amazing.
PI: In your opinion, what makes the Seattle basketball culture unique?
NH: What makes it so unique is that we all come and form as one. I feel like with all the hoopers and vets in the NBA, they all come back and support all the younger dudes. Like when Jamal Crawford comes back into my camp, talking with the kids, I just feel like that just brings unity to all the hoopers in Seattle, or Tacoma — doesn't even matter — it just brings all hoopers together in Washington and we form as one.
PI: The pickup games in the summer can be pretty high-level. Any runs stand out, in particular?
NH: Kyrie [Irving] actually pulled up to one of the runs last summer...runs be so hectic during the summertime...the pros come in. So, you know, [when Kyrie walked in] I'm shook! This is when I was a sophomore, so I was shook...thinking “I'm not about to hoop with Kyrie...I'm shook” — so I was just there watching Kyrie hooping. But yeah, when he came, oh my god, he was going! He was cool. It was crazy.
PI: Who would be on your all-time Seattle basketball Mount Rushmore?
NH: I'm gonna go with the Lod and Rod [Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart] twins...I'm gonna go with Nate Rob [Nate Robinson]...and I'm gonna go with JC [Jamal Crawford].
PI: The twins! That’s a great call, those guys were something else!
NH: They were just so unique....I don't think nobody really thinks about that. Like, twins...and they weren't even the same, either! Like one had handles and the other one just had a jumper. One was left, one was right-handed...yeah, that was nuts. That was ridiculous. I don’t think nobody really realizes how crazy they were in high school. It was turned up.
PI: Describe your game. What are your greatest strengths?
NH: I’m a winner. I give my team the most wins possible. I find my guys, I get the right shots. I'm a playmaker. I'm a scorer. I lead my team. Yeah, that's pretty much all about me.
PI: What do you feel you still need to work on the most?
NH: Right now, I've been working on a lot of pick-and-rolls — I’m really good at that, but I’m trying to perfect it. I've been trying to perfect it nonstop, every time I get into the gym. Another thing that I've been working on is passing — been working on passing a lot. I felt like last season, my passing skills weren’t as fluid or as strong as I’d like. So I feel like if I just strengthen my passes and work on them more, they’ll start to excel.
PI: What’s the most underrated part of your game?
NH: I feel like I don't get enough credit with my athleticism. You know, people kind of feel like I don't be jumping a lot on my jumper or that I can't jump as high, but I feel like this past summer, my athleticism went through the roof. So I feel like if I show it more often, then maybe they'll start to respect me more. But yeah, I feel like that's the most least respected in my game.
PI: What do you love most about the game of basketball?
NH: The reason why I like basketball so much is just the work behind it. I feel like with training and all that — just the sweat and the blood that you put into it — I just feel like that's just the most entertaining part of the whole entire process is just working tremendously hard just to see the results at the end. I feel like that is just an incredible feeling. In the actual game settings...it’s the moments...the moments, that's what I live for. The moments bring out the best part of basketball...so yeah, that's the heart of it.
PI: What’s your favorite all-time memory on the basketball court?
NH: I would probably have to say the most-anticipated match last year with O’Dea and us [Eastside Catholic] — that first game at Eastside. I know that was probably my biggest moment, because there was so much heat behind that. There was just so much talk leading up to it...it just felt so good to just shut them all up, you know? So either that one or the other highly-anticipated game with Mater Dei — me versus Devin [Askew]. So that was a good moment, as well. You know I wasn't shying away from that!
PI: How was your experience participating in the Les Schwab Invitational this past December?
NH: Les Schwab [Invitational] is dope. It’s a dope tournament. I feel like it should be [rated] as high as City of Palms and all the tournaments. I feel like it should be recommended, known, all that. But yeah, they bring competitiveness — it’s lit every year. The crowds are amazing. The schools that are in it, they're top teams — they're not no slouch. A few years you'll catch some blowouts, but other than that, it's a great tournament. I don't understand why anybody wouldn't take time out of their season and come play in the Les Schwab Invitational.
PI: Why do you wear #2? Is there a story behind it?
NH: All my my whole career I’ve worn #2, and the reason why I wear it is because my mom and my dad — you know, that was ‘two.’ So, it was a long time until Noah came, my little brother — so once he came, I decided to scrap my mom and dad and just go with my sister and Noah. So my family has always been part of it, with the #2.
PI: Rank the top-five point guards in the 2021 class.
#1: Nolan Hickman
#2: Kennedy Chandler
#3: J.D. Davison
#4: Daeshun Ruffin
#5: Isa Silva
PI: Do you watch more college or NBA basketball? What are your biggest takeaways?
NH: I watch college basketball...at times I buckle down and watch that the most. You know, seeing the upcoming stars go to the NBA, that’s when I really start watching. But as far as the NBA, I watch it a little bit more — and I don't watch the teams like the Lakers or anything...I don't think I've watched a lot of them. I watch the most underrated teams like the Nets — or the teams who got bad records and you know nobody really watches. So, I watch Spencer Dinwiddie...I watch his game — his game is crazy — just how he gets to his spot, under pressure...he just gets to his spot real good, so I cherish his game. I also cherish Kyle Anderson and how he plays so slow at six-nine or however big he is. So how he gets to his spot, how he finishes at the rim, and how he shoots it. And you know how the NBA game is just fast — that’s one thing every player says when they get to the league — it's just so much more fast than all the other levels. So with them playing as slow as they are and still getting buckets, I just feel like that is just dope.
PI: Do you model your game after anyone in particular?
NH: Honestly, I don't think I model my game after nobody. I think my game is unique. I feel like nobody really dribbles the way I dribble — just the way I put the flavor into it and how I make it look so smooth, and the patience I put into it — I just feel like there’s no one I really model my game after. I mean I look up to certain dudes, like Kyrie. That's the main person I be looking up to, with dribbling and stuff. But other than that, I don't really pattern my moves, or anything, after anybody.
PI: Who in the NBA best resembles your game?
NH: I would probably say Dame [Lillard]. Yeah, he launches it from deep, he can shoot it, handle it. And you know he got the sneaky athleticism...you know, which I'm slowly starting to get. So I feel like, yeah, Dame.
PI: You and Dame definitely share a similar demeanor on the court. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you smile on the court!
NH: That actually started — with me just being like straight-faced and everything, like not even talking or doing anything while I play — it's not that I'm not having fun. Believe me, I'm having fun, you know I love it, so I do have fun on the court. But this all started when I was running track. I started off as a track star — a lot of people don't know that. I went to the Junior Olympics at eight years old. I won it. I still got the record to this day as the 100-meter world record-holder. I won the 200 one as well, but I don't have that record anymore — someone broke it like two years ago, but the hundred is still mine. I think I got a 13.27 or something like that...it’s real quick. But yeah, with running and track, the technique has to be no wasted movements. It has to be straight-faced all the time since that uses more energy. So, when I was running track, I was just straight-faced the whole time, just looking at my end line.
PI: Fastest eight-year-old in the world, all time?
NH: I still got the medals to this day!
PI: Who’s the toughest player you’ve ever had to guard?
NH: I feel like the hardest player I’ve ever had to guard — and I didn't even really guard them, as much — but it’d have to be Cade Cunningham. It wasn't like I couldn't handle him...it was just like every tactic I was doing, it wasn't fazing him. Like, I would jab at him or I would try to throw my hands in a certain way that, you know, might catch others off guard, but he was just not fazed at all at anything I was doing: he was getting to his spots, he was backing me down, he was just — he was a pro — and I don't think I've ever seen anything like that at my level at least. I feel like higher up in all those other levels, that is where I’ll see that at but that was my first experience with someone like that.
PI: That was at Peach Jam, right?
NH: Yes — and I wasn't even on him the whole game! I started going on him like towards the end of it [the game] and he was still giving me, giving us problems. I think he finished with like 37 or something like that and had like seven assists — like that's what's crazy about him...he doesn't even have to score. The way he implements himself into the game is just nuts. He passes it well. It's just crazy.
PI: Talk about pace.
NH: Yeah, his pace is real steady, too. And his demeanor. He don't show nothin’ on the court, as well. Demeanor’s solid...yeah, he’s a killer.
PI: Let’s talk about the big news. Talk us through what went into the decision to transfer to Wasatch Academy. Was it a tough decision?
NH: So, [in the past] me transferring to a prep school was never an option...it was never an option for me or my family. Right after this season — and it was a great season for me — but right after this high school season, and right after last summer, I felt like this is where I started really coming to be myself and started really filling it out. And I just feel like being at Eastside this year and seeing where I went and brought my team to...I feel like I could take that on at Wasatch. And with me visiting — I actually went to visit a few weeks back — and you know, when we went to go visit I felt like that showed my family, not even me, just showed my parents just how legit prep school really is. Right after the visit, my mom was like [laughs] “I don't understand why anybody wouldn't go to prep school.” And after me thinking about it, I was just like, “yeah, they got a national schedule, you're playing pretty much whoever you want to play.” And with my summer being taken away with the EYBL this year, and us not being able to play a lot and get my recognition...I feel like if I was to just go to Wasatch Academy, and play all the teams against the top recruits and competition in the country — I just feel like that's where I will give myself the best chance to excel and get better.
PI: Did you seek out advice from older Seattle hoopers who’d made similar moves in the past?
NH: I actually kind of made it my own thing. I didn't really ask anybody...and it wasn't even that I didn't want to ask them for advice — it was just to a point where I kind of wanted this to be my own decision and based off of the best interests for me and my family. So, yeah, this was pretty much my decision. I didn't really ask somebody about it.
PI: What are you most looking forward to as you make the move down to Utah?
NH: I feel like with me being an addition to their team, I feel like we're gonna go extremely far...and I feel like we will have good chemistry. I already know a few players there — like Pop Pop [Richard Isaacs, Jr.]. So with me coming in forming a chemistry with everybody else I feel like we have what it takes to at least get far into it and make our run.
PI: How do you feel you’ll fit within their system and with the current personnel at Wasatch?
NH: I think I fit in their system with just being able to play fast — playing up and down. I feel like that is where I'm most successful. Even though my pace is slow and patient at times...I feel like going fast is where we’ll most excel. As far as the personnel: Pop Pop...with me and him as the backcourt...that’s gonna be insane. There aren’t many people I think that are gonna to be able to guard that, so yeah, this year is gonna be a show, for sure.
PI: How do you envision you and Pop Pop complementing each other on the court?
NH: With me and Pop Pop, I feel like we could exchange times on when we each handle the ball. With me, I don't have to have the ball in my hands to implement myself into the game. I don't need the ball in my hands 24/7. So I feel like me coming off screens and him throwing me a pass or whatever...me knocking down the shot or dishing it off to somebody else...I feel like that's where we start to come in and be the best at it. Even with me handling the ball and him coming off screens or me outleting it to him and Pop going and getting his...I feel like that is where we're going to excel at the most.
PI: Pretend I’m a high-level hooper you’re trying to recruit to come play with you at Wasatch. What’s your recruiting pitch?
NH: So my pitch will be: you're in the middle of nowhere. You're going to work, you're going to work, you're going to work. There's nothing to do but work...and you're going to get better. There's nothing else for you to do, I promise. There's nothing else for you to do but get better and grind. I feel like that alone, we just make you want to — well, it made me want to come because I just like the grind, but still, it just made me feel like I have no distractions. Nothing's in the way for me to do what I want to do, in getting to the next level. So I felt like that is just my — I'm overly focused...just overly focused — and that fits well at Wasatch.
PI: Let’s talk recruitment. Where were you at this time last year?
NH: Last year at this same exact moment, I didn't have as many offers. I wasn't getting recognized by any of the big colleges. I was just making my way to the top- tier even of EYBL. So, at that time, I felt like “this is where I need to make a push at it.”
PI: What’s happened since then?
NH: I can’t even explain this enough, but that whole entire summer right after EYBL, I just worked. So coming in after doing what I did in EYBL, I was going into the high school season with a chip on my shoulder. I was like, “I'm taking the state title.” At the end of the season the outcome wasn’t what I wanted it to be [Eastside Catholic finished third in the 3A state tournament] and it definitely left me and my team devastated, but I do feel like this season I showed what I’m capable of. I feel like my name holds weight after this year.
So with this recruiting process throughout the pandemic, it’s been hard but it’s also been easy. Schools have been coming in left and right. But the only thing that's really bad about it is I can't really visually see the school…I can't really go tour it, or anything. So I've been getting a lot of virtual visits. It’s definitely not the same, but I've made it work.
Me and the coaching staff of every school that I've talked to have made work, so I can't complain about it. It is what it is with the state of the environment we’re in right now. I got faith that by the end of everything hopefully we get back to being normal.
PI: So what’s the very latest? Do you have any sort of list?
NH: I haven't even done a list. I'm not even thinking about cutting down a list. I would say in a couple months at least, I would start to think about my decision and think about where I will commit to. But as of right now, I would say my list isn’t numbered right now. It's not ranked right now. I probably wouldn't even cut down anything — I'll probably just go into my commitment.
PI: That’s a little bit different than the norm...going to the beat of your own drum, I like it!
NH: I'm not really into if anybody is happy, or not, if I'm going there or anything...so I just feel like if I was just to go out with it and just say it right now — or go at my own time — I just feel like that would be where there’d be the most surprise...and it’d be the most beneficial for me.
PI: Do you have any sort of timeline in mind, at all?
NH: There’s not really a timeline, right now. Me and my family, we haven’t really made a timeline or planned when we’re going [to visit] to any of these schools...but hopefully when everything opens back up and gets moving appropriately, I feel like that’s when we’ll start to take visits, start to reach out to schools and see where the best fit is for me.
PI: What are the factors you’re valuing the most as you start to think about choosing a college? What are the non-negotiables?
NH: Number one: I have to be able to come back to your school to get my degree. Whether it's me leaving and going to the NBA or it’s me staying, I have to finish my school. Two: where I feel most at home...where I feel like I'm most comfortable. [points to his bedroom] You know this is “mi casa” so if you can make it feel like here or at least somewhat like here, then I'll be straight — you won’t even need to worry about me. Three: just somewhere that helps me get better, helps me have my mindset, have my future set. Just somewhere that can help me find resources — to connect to the people that I need for after hoop. Everything's not about hoop, so I got to figure out what I need to do after this. So I feel like in college, that's where I’ll start to form relationships and start to reach out to the people that I might need to reach out to in the future for jobs or something like that.
PI: What has been a defining moment or story in your life?
NH: A defining moment in my life would probably have to be when I got injured — my first main, serious injury. It was in my eighth grade year, going into ninth. It was at an “in-house” game. Anybody from Seattle knows in-house games get hectic. It’s at Rotary. It’s pretty much everybody that’s on the A-Team at Rotary split up onto different teams — so you’re going against your buddies every single game. It’s the most competitive game you’re ever going to see. So I was in that game, and I actually go up for a layup and as I go up, I hear a pop my knee. So as I come down, you know, I'm screaming or whatever, I'm yelling, and they had to rush me to the hospital. As soon as I get there the doctor said “I don't understand how you're still bending your knee.” So at that moment I was like “oh, it must be bad.” Time went by. I got surgery — it happened to be that part of my tibia bone actually became detached. So they had to nail it back in to make it stable and in place. After that experience, I was devastated. It took a real toll. I was depressed. It wasn't even that I was depressed but it just felt like I had lost my love cause I couldn’t hoop. It didn’t know what else I was supposed to do. So I was out for six months. I was just rehabbing, just sleeping, laying down, resting it, so it was just a turning point in my life because it really made me appreciate basketball way more. It really did. After I came back I feel like that's when I started playing angry on the hoop court. I just made it a point to give it my all every single game...cause you really never know when you can get hurt. That situation when I got hurt, I was on a fast break by myself and I just went up and got hurt. So after experiencing something like that it just put things in perspective. There's no telling when I'm gonna get hurt or when I'm not gonna be able to play this hoop game again. So I'm just giving my all every single time. Ever since then I've been having a chip on my shoulder.
PI: Do you consider yourself to be more of an introvert or extrovert?
NH: I think I'm a little bit of both. But more introverted than extroverted. I kind of like being to myself. I'm not really into, you know, the “rah rah” and the talking to more people, you know. I kind of like just my little inner circle, my little group. When I get comfortable, I start to come into myself, I start to come out, be more open with the people I'm around...usually with my bros or my family. That's when I start to really express myself more.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
NH: Caring. Hard-working. Funny. Kind.
PI: Who would you say has influenced your life the most up to this point?
NH: That’d probably have to be my mom. My mom has influenced me the most throughout my entire life. Just watching her going about every single day, working tremendously hard. And it's not even just for her job, or anything. It's just her taking care of three kids and you know with her pressing the reset button when my little brother was born and starting over. It is just seeing how hard she has to work, putting in that extra time to work with him with his school. And then on top of that, she’s still made it to all of my games and seeing my sister dance or going to her soccer games — just seeing her go back and forth and working tremendously hard for our needs. I just feel like that's why she’s the most influential person in my entire life.
PI: What is your biggest passion outside of the game of basketball?
NH: I take “Call of Duty’ing” very far [laughs]. That's probably my strong suit when it comes to anything other than hoop. I feel like with Call of Duty — yeah, I’m the king at that. Nobody can touch me at that.
PI: If you were going to do anything other than basketball for a career, what would it be?
NH: I've been angling towards engineering. I've been wanting to go to the best engineering schools, I've been looking into that. Also, crime and law — that's what I love. Crime and law interests me. So I feel like if it wasn't for hoop, that’s what I’d be focusing on the most. I love crime and law. It's just something about it. It's not even about finding the killers or finding any of that, it’s more just the thought process and the angles that you have to take to find the mystery...that just brings me adrenaline.
PI: Are you a big Law & Order guy?
NH: I'm a [The] First 48 type of guy. My parents like Law & Order, I don’t like Law & Order [laughs].
PI: What are some of your short and long term goals?
NH: Short term, I want to finish out this senior year, getting my diploma, taking my team as far as I can with this whole hoop thing, with the national schedule and everything — those are probably my short term goals as of right now. Deciding where I need to go for college and pursuing what my goals are for that, for college and for the NBA. Long term, I feel like my end goal will probably be something outside of basketball, after the NBA. I want my goals to lead to the NBA but I don’t want them to end there. My end goal is leading my foundation, giving back to my family, spreading love and positivity to the community, and eventually finding that second love, second job that I love to do other than basketball.
PI: What are the four websites or apps you spend the most time on?
NH: Definitely Instagram — I’m on that 24/7. Snapchat...those are probably the only two. Talking about websites, probably Netflix — I’m on that all the time. And probably YouTube.
PI: What’s the best series on Netflix right now?
NH: I'm gonna go with either All-American or The Office.
PI: I’m going to have to go with The Office on that one!!
NH: The Office is my show, I love that show. I watch it every time I go to sleep.
PI: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
NH: I have a lot of those, I'm not gonna lie. I'm really a neat freak — I don't like nothing to be dirty. I hate that. But the number-one thing that I tremendously hate is sitting down somewhere and the seat already being hot. That might be the worst [laughs]. That is my worst feeling ever, I hate that.
PI: Like if that happens, you’re immediately standing up and switching chairs…
NH: As soon as I start to feel like there's been warmth of somebody else's behind on the seat, that’s where I’m like “okay, yeah, I gotta go find another seat.”
PI: What’s the smartest purchase you’ve ever made?
NH: The Peloton. Yeah, that might have been the best, smartest investment I've probably ever made. I'm on that probably like four times a week. I'm on that all the time. That is where I get my most cardio and that's where I get my most sweat in. But that's where you'll catch me most of the time. I'm on the Peloton all the time.
PI: When did you get it?
NH: Like four months ago — I just got it — and literally it’s the best investment. It is so good. It's not even about actually getting your cardio in, it’s just the concept of it, like seeing the screen while you're pedaling. You're not even paying attention to how much your legs are being involved by you just watching the screen. So yeah, it’s just fire to me.
PI: Who’s your favorite instructor?
NH: You know what’s crazy, I don’t even use instructors like that. I actually just do scenic routes. I don't even use instructors. But there's this one instructor that I've actually tried before and it's a girl, she's light-skinned. She usually does hip hop on the Peloton, but I forget her name.
PI: Ally Love?
NH: Ally Love, yes!
PI: Did you know she works for the Brooklyn Nets, too?
NH: I just found that out too because I was on Twitter and I was scrolling by and I actually saw her do something on the Nets and I was like “ oh, okay.” So I put two and two together and was like “yeah, that’s ridiculous — she does Peloton, too?”
PI: What’s your most embarrassing moment?
NH: My most embarrassing moment wasn’t even embarrassing in the moment, but right now looking back I feel like it was the most embarrassing moment in my life [laughs]. But in elementary school, in sixth grade actually, I hosted the talent show. My parents recorded it, so I still have footage on it and it’s not good. I didn't like it at all. It's horrible. It's me making cringey jokes. It was the most embarrassing. Probably back in the time I thought I was cool doing it, but now? Nah.
PI: If you woke up tomorrow to see $10 million in your bank account, what would be your first purchase?
NH: People will probably say I’m corny for this, but me, I’m long term, so I would probably go buy some real estate or buy some land with it. And just build my houses on it, or something, for the family.
PI: Tell us something about yourself that most people have no idea about.
NH: I actually played an instrument back in middle school. The viola. I played that for about two years. I still know how to play a little bit — I don’t own one, but I’m pretty sure once I start getting established with my life I’ll probably start investing in one.
PI: What’s the difference between a violin and a viola?
NH: A viola is actually a bigger violin.
PI: Describe what you imagine your life will look like 10 years from now.
NH: 10 years from now...TheGiveBack Foundation is booming, well-established — me and my family — both got homes. I’m rocking out in the NBA...just giving back to each and every community I can give to. So once TheGiveBack Foundation starts getting bigger and everything, I’m still going to keep the headquarters in Seattle, but I’m going to try to start reaching the entire country, going community to community — or even going out of the country, and giving back to places in Africa, like Ghana — so doing that — that’s where I see myself in 10 years.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you want to be remembered for?
NH: I want to be remembered as a stand-up guy. Someone who you can come to whenever anything is up. I’m really not going to bite you, or anything — I’m just really open. One thing I want people to know, even with me being open and everything: don’t get on my bad side. My bad side is something I don’t like visiting. So, yeah...that’s probably it.
PI: Is there anything you’d like to say on the current events in today’s world in light of all the attention on our country’s history of racial injustice, systemic racism and police brutality?
NH: With the environment we’re in right now, it’s been really hard — especially with me and my family being the color that’s been picked on in the United States. This isn’t something that’s just started happening — it’s been going on for years. What you’re seeing now is just us showing that we’re fed up. I understand it, but with the looting and everything...I’m not saying it’s wrong, but it’s not smart. The looting is just not how you get your point across. But I totally understand why they’re doing it, don’t get me wrong. But looting is just going too far. But the BLM movement, I’m truly proud of what they’ve been doing. I’ve been going to parades left and right, trying to put both feet in. Me and my family have been going to protests, saying what we feel needs to be said. So, with my black community, I feel like they’ve been doing an excellent job and I feel like if we keep doing this stuff — taking out the looting — with protests and speaking our mind, it will create change. Less videotaping everything and more just getting involved...going about everything with a chip on our shoulder...that’s where I think we can also make a difference. All the controversy really hurts my heart, but it still makes sense. I’m not going to sit here and say it doesn’t. It’s a tough environment right now. But to the kids who are growing up in it right now, just keep your head up, everything’s going to be better — and any type of religion you’re in, just pray — I pray nonstop. I have faith things are going to get better. Me and my family have faith things are going to get better. So, just put God first and he’ll take it the rest of the way — that’s what I go by.
Watch the full interview with Nolan, here