James Edward "J.J." Hickson Jr. will turn 25 on Sept. 4th. He was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 19th overall pick of the 2008 NBA draft. He played a big role on the 2009-10 Cavs team that went 61-21, alongside LeBron James, Mo Williams, Anderson Varejao, and Shaquille O'Neal. That season, Hickson started in 73 of the 81 games he played in and averaged 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds in his second NBA campaign.
He was traded to the Sacramento Kings on June 30, 2011 for Omri Casspi and a future first-round pick and then waived by the Kings on March 19, 2012. He signed with the Blazers two days later on March 21, 2012 and appeared in 19 games for Portland and then played in 80 games for the Blazers last season.
His athleticism is stunning. Hickson can do things on the court that will blow people away, like the below video where he just destroys DeAndre Jordan by dunking over him. That's Hickson the basketball player, let's get to know a little more about the man.
Nate Timmons: What is your biggest takeaway from being in the NBA thus far?
J.J. Hickson: Since I've been in the league, one of the biggest things I've learned is that is pays to be consistent. The guys that are good in this league, they're consistent. Given they may hit their down spots, where they're not shooting the ball well or they're not playing well, but throughout 82 games they are consistent.
NT: Are you familiar with another N.C. State guy, David Thompson?
JJ: A guy that had problems later on in his career, but for the time that he played he was fantastic, he was awesome. He definitely played above the rim and he brought excitement to the game.
NT: You grew up in Atlanta, how do you feel about Ludacris or who is your favorite rapper from the area?
JJ: Definitely T.I., Luda is in there, but Atlanta is evolving so fast that there are so many rappers coming out of there. But definitely T.I. [aka Tip Harris].
NT: Did you see T.I.'s movie then? ATL?
JJ: A couple times - a couple hundred times.
NT: What is your favorite movie?
JJ: Inception. I learn something new every time I watch it.
NT: How about a favorite actor?
JJ: Idris Elba. The guy that played in [Takers] with T.I., when they were doing the bank robberies.
(Elba is well known for his role in the HBO series The Wire, where he played Stringer Bell. The British actor is very talented and Hickson scored some big points with this answer as I love The Wire.)
NT: How about a favorite actress?
JJ: I know you expect me to say Halle Berry, I'm not going to say Halle Berry. I cannot think of her name, she played in Jumping the Broom, Paula [Patton].
NT: Let's say at some point that Hollywood comes calling for J.J. Hickson, would you rather be in an action movie, comedy, horror, or Sci-Fi film?
JJ: Definitely action or comedy, I'd flip a coin.
NT: What's the plot in your action movie?
JJ: Definitely blowing something up, running, and chasing somebody.
NT: What's your favorite food?
[Chris Dempsey, The Denver Post, chimed in: Fried? Baked?]
JJ: It doesn't matter, I'll take it however it comes.
NT: If we opened up your fridge, what would we find?
JJ: If you opened my fridge you'd be surprised. I'm definitely a Whole Foods shopper. I don't know how I got into it, but it just feels good to eat healthy and it pays off at the end of the day.
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