BullPens: Fred Hoiberg's Home
Fred Hoiberg and his son, Jack, welcome you at the door:
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Unsure of what to expect on my trip to Fred Hoiberg's house, I kept an open mind. Would Fred, a six-year NBA veteran, have an estate fitting of the "professional athlete fantasy home" stereotype, or would his tastes reflect a more modest living?
What I found was a happy medium between the two. Their house in Buffalo Grove, situated in Chicago's northern suburbs, comfortably accommodates Fred, his high school sweetheart and wife, Carol, and his two children, Paige and Jack. What Fred's house lacks in extravagance, it makes up for in elegance. And with the Hoiberg family providing me with a warm welcome, it was easy to sense why they are so happy with the place that they call home.
Fred Hoiberg's NBA career began in Indianapolis when the Pacers selected him in the second round (52nd overall) of the 1995 NBA Draft. After four seasons in Indy, Fred tested the free agent waters and came to Chicago in September 1999. This past season he appeared in 74 games and started 37 times, both career-highs for Hoiberg. Fred also bested many of his other previous highs by scoring 9.1 ppg, grabbing 4.2 rpg and dishing out 3.6 apg.
Click on the thumbnails below to take a photo tour through Fred's home.
First Thing's First
Buying a house was one of the first things Fred and Carol Hoiberg did when they moved to Chicago two seasons ago. They had previously rented a place in Indiana, but Fred's two-year contract with the Bulls, coupled with the area's favorable resale value, made the decision to buy an easy one.
Once inside, we were taken to Paige and Jack's playroom. The jungle-themed, colorfully decorated walls -- with no shortage of giraffes, tigers and elephants -- make it a favorite spot for the kids to convene. The room serves a dual purpose as well; it is also used as Fred and Carol's office. Here, they are able to keep track of the family finances and any other business related matters.
But don't think the computer in the corner of the room is just for business purposes. When Jack isn't racing his cars and Paige isn't playing with her dolls, the two can be found entertaining themselves with games and educational programs, as Paige demonstrated during our visit.
A few references to the family's strong ties to basketball are found in the room as well. Fred's Iowa State jersey - the retired number 32 - is proudly positioned on one wall, while other jerseys are displayed on another. These however, are not Fred's; they belonged to his late grandfather, Gerry Bush, who once wore the jerseys during his playing days at St. John's University. Bush played at St. John's from 1935-38 and was recently named one of the top five players in the school's history. The sentimental value of the jerseys was evident as Fred talked about what they represent to him:
"My grandfather passed away when I was young. This was a great way for me to learn what he was all about and to have some of those memories."
Next, we moved to the kitchen. This area of the house, Hoiberg explained, is sometimes neglected:
"Unfortunately, my wife is not much of a cook..." Hoiberg laughed but, of course, was kidding.
After the kitchen, we made our way to the back deck. The good-sized deck features a hot tub as well as the all-necessary grill. Also in the back yard is a swing set and a fully equipped slide, which Jack immediately flocked to.
And what about that hot tub, Fred? Aren't all NBA players required to have at least one of those?
"It was something that just happened to come with the house. It's nice but I really don't use it too much. That is pretty much reserved for family who come in to visit and for my wife, who really likes to use it."
When we went back into the house we visited the living room. This room is a place where the family can relax together and watch television or just enjoy the fire on a cold December night. On one side of the room is a mini basketball hoop, which Jack is quite fond of. According to Fred and Carol, young Jack will shoot non-stop during all of the Bulls' road games as he watches Dad on TV. Like father, like son? Maybe!
Searching For a Home...
As we made our way up the stairs, Fred discussed some of the reasons why he and Carol settled on this particular house:
"Most of all, it was the neighborhood. It was really important for the kids to have friends around here to play with and it's nice to have other couples who are about the same age."
When it came to the house itself the high ceilings and wide hallways were very appealing.
"Even though I'm not as big as some of the other NBA players, it's still nice to have the extra room," said Hoiberg.
Jack's bedroom was the first one we saw and any young boy would love to have it as his own. The walls are covered in a Chicago sports theme with an abundance of toys scattered throughout the room.
Hanging on one wall was an autographed photo of Tiger Woods striking a ball at the Masters. Fred was quick to point out that, "Golf is the only sport I'll make him play. I'll make it mandatory... that way his old man can play with him when he gets a little older," he said with a smile. In the meantime, Jack will remain in his own world, as he was at that moment, leading his train around its track.
Paige's room was next on our itinerary. It is somewhat of a secluded room, which Fred assures us Paige will enjoy someday because of its privacy. Immediately upon entering she began to jump on her bed, enjoying the extra attention. Paige was all smiles as she bounced up and down in a room filled with stars and a blue moon. As much as she likes her room the way it is, she made it very clear that one day it will be pink with flowers.
Finally, we were led to Fred and Carol's bedroom. The room's walls and bed coverings, all in pink, were not Fred's choices... were they, Fred? "Yeah, right. When the boss speaks, you have to agree with her." The room looks great, Carol!
As we looked around, both Paige and Jack raced to the treadmill. From there, Fred pointed out the fireplace, one of he and Carol's favorite parts of the room. It is perfect for countering the cold Chicago winters. On the mantle above the fireplace are three photos - one black and white photo of each child and one picture of Fred and Carol on their wedding day.
Fred concluded the tour with Paige by his side. I thanked him for letting me stop by and for giving me an inside look at his personal "BullPen." In just two years, the Hoiberg's have converted this house into a warm, comforting home, perfect for an NBA player raising a family.
- Adam Fluck, Bulls.com; photos courtesy of Bill Smith