The Pelican Blog

Off the Court: Greg Stiemsma


The second-oldest player on the New Orleans Pelicans' roster, Greg Stiemsma took an unusual path to the NBA, going undrafted before playing overseas. He's been in the league since the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season and played for three teams since then, including Boston, Minnesota and New Orleans. Here's more from the 6-foot-11 pivot on his background:

otc_greg_stiemsma_298x400.jpgBest moment as an athlete: “Probably the first time stepping onto an NBA floor for real in a regular season game. I was with Boston and we played in New Orleans.”
How he chose his current uniform number of 34: “I’ve worn it since I was a little kid. One of the guys I knew in high school who was older than me wore it, so I kind of wanted to follow him.”
Something fans might be surprised to know about him: “I love to cook.”
Favorite thing about New Orleans: “The food’s been great. There are tons of good restaurants. Everywhere you go, the food is fantastic. I love seafood and have been to some very good steakhouses.”
Pregame ritual: “I’m not too superstitious. I just like to get to the gym early, listen to some music and relax a little bit.”
First job: “Working in a cabbage field for some family and friends, cutting cabbage and working with cauliflower and broccoli.”
Favorite athletes as a kid: “I was a big Shaq fan growing up. My room was decorated with all Orlando Magic stuff. I had the Shaq jersey and everything. I missed playing against him by a year. He retired right before I started playing in the NBA.”
What he’d be doing if he weren’t an NBA player: “I’d try to be a chef or a cook somewhere.”
Closest friends currently playing on other NBA teams: “Jon Leuer of Memphis and I are pretty good friends and went to school at Wisconsin together. We worked out this summer a lot in Minnesota.”
Favorite type of music: “Country. I’m a country boy. I listen to the old stuff and the new stuff.”
Favorite TV shows: “I’m a big fan of Sons of Anarchy. I also like Modern Family and The Office.”
Favorite movies of all time: “Anchorman, Dumb & Dumber, the Batman movies, the Ironman series.”
Favorite websites: “Besides social media stuff like Facebook and Twitter, I check the headlines on Yahoo, but otherwise I don’t go online very much.”