Off the Court: Pelicans guard/forward Josh Hart

While some NBA players may experience initial difficulty finding other pursuits to keep them occupied during the league’s spring suspension of basketball, that’s probably not the case for New Orleans wing Josh Hart, a man of many interests. The third-year NBA veteran and native of Silver Spring, Md., is hands-down the most active Pelicans player on social media, including having over 350,000 followers on Twitter, He also co-hosts a popular podcast known as the “LightHarted Podcast,” constantly interacting with New Orleans fans – over the past week, he has appeared on multiple apps to stay active during social distancing.

The 25-year-old was a the rare four-year NCAA player to be picked in the first round of the NBA draft (30th pick by Lakers in 2017) and was a national champion in college at Villanova. Hart discussed his background and array of interests:

How he chose his current uniform number of 3: “It’s for the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Also, I’m the third child of my family and my favorite player was Dwyane Wade. So I guess that’s also three reasons.”

One thing fans might be surprised to know about him: “Well, because of social media, y’all know everything about me. Everything is Google-able today. I’m actually trademarking that word, by the way. I’m trademarking Google-able. So that���s probably the thing you don’t know about me.” [laughs]

First job: “Being a coach at Villanova’s basketball camp.”

What he’d be doing if he weren’t an NBA player: “I’d probably be a professional gamer, playing video games all day. I do that half the time now.”

Biggest lessons from basketball: “To always face adversity head-on. No matter who you are or what you do in any profession, you’re always going to face adversity. Don’t shy away from it and don’t be scared of it. At the end of the day, it’s all about how you handle it.”

Subjects he’s knowledgeable about besides basketball: “Gaming, The Office, Game of Thrones. Wine a little bit.”

Actor he’d like to play him in a movie: “Will Smith, maybe Michael B. Jordan. Or let me get a light-skin version of Jim Halpert from The Office. I’m saying Jim Halpert because I don’t know how to pronounce the actor’s name in real life (Editor’s note: it is John Krasinski).”

Most surprising thing about the NBA as a rookie: “That I didn’t have any rookie duties. It was cool – I didn’t have to wear a little pink backpack, or go get donuts from the other side of the city. My teammates didn’t do anything to me! I had some chill vets.”

Best uniforms in the NBA (besides the Pelicans’): “Either Lakers or Raptors. Toronto’s OVO uniforms are probably my favorite ones in the league.”

Favorite road trip, based on the city: “Anything on the East Coast, because I’m from Maryland. If we play in Washington, Philly or New York, those are my favorite three places to go.”