Athlete Spotlight - Solent Kestrels' Herm Senor II

After his MVP performance in the National Trophy Final, we have an athlete spotlight with Solent's Herm Senor II!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Herman Senor II pronounced (see-nor the second) people often say Herm Senor 2 which is funny, I’m from Springfield Illinois in the United States and I am 22 years old. I recently graduated from Quincy University with my bachelors degree in Business Management and I played basketball there for 4 years. This is my first season overseas playing professional basketball.

What brought you to the National Basketball League in the first place?
I played with my team mate Joe Tagarelli for 2 years at Quincy and he signed with Team Solent Kestrels quite early on in the summer. I was in the gym one day and he reached out to me to let me know that Coach Matt Guymon wanted to speak with me. I jumped at the opportunity as I had been trying to get a situation overseas through some camps and had tried to contact some agents but hadn’t had any luck. Coach Matt and I were talking back and forth and then the club sent through an offer which got the ball rolling.

What was your first impression? How has that changed?
The standard is really good, I guess coming from the college level it’s difficult to know what to expect but I was surprised, the venues aren’t just for basketball so I suppose I was confused at first when all the different lines were on the court, I’m used to just having lines for basketball and volleyball back home in America. For the sport on the whole there isn’t as big of a following but the fans that support each team are just as passionate and I love that because it certainly made me feel at home.

What was your first "bright spot" with your team?
I would say almost right away, a couple weeks into pre season camp we played our first pre season game against USA Select, I hit a lay up for an and-1 at the buzzer or with 0. something seconds left to give us the win. That really set the tone for us I think, from there we’ve had a great year so far.

What was your biggest challenge?
Probably just trying to understand what Coach Matt wants from me as a lead guard, and how I can incorporate that into my game and also the teams play. Just doing whatever the team needs, within my ability and embracing a leadership role on the floor. I’m not used to being the main guy so to speak and here the coaching staff and my team mates are looking to me amongst others to make plays. So really just stepping into that role and making sure I thrive under that pressure has been a challenge. Off the court just living in a new country, adjusting to life in England how people interact, driving on the left side of the road and getting used to the time difference back home. It’s been tough to make sure I find time to relax amongst catching up with my family as well.

What changes have you noticed in yourself since joining the NBL?
The biggest change for me has been stepping up and taking on a leadership role making sure I’m staying vocal with my guys and not being passive. Taking the responsibility for keeping the team on the right track in games, in practice and stepping up if somethings need to be adjusted on the fly.

What are you working on right now, what are your current goals?
For the most part just working on staying as mobile as possible, making sure my body is healthy and ready for the stretch of the season. Playing a lot of minutes certainly takes it toll on the body so just really making sure I stretch a lot, foam roll a whole bunch and get treatment. In terms of on court just making sure my shot is down, getting lots of reps within our system to make sure I’m sharp on the floor. Another focus that I have been working on is getting after it defensively, having the energy to pick up full court for large parts of the ball game.

What is your favourite NBL memory?
That’s easy, it has to be the 3 point game winner I hit up in Manchester but that gets over shadowed by the Trophy Final and getting the MVP!

What advice would you give someone who is just getting started in basketball?
A couple things I would say are listen to your coaches or mentors, maybe people that are already in the position you want to be in or at the place you want to get to. That way you can soak up all the knowledge and advice they’ll have from their experience, I feel like nowadays a lot of young athletes don’t listen enough and think they may know best already but when people have been and done it you got to listen to their pathway and take some things from them for sure.

What do you like to do outside of basketball?
Just hang out with the guys mostly, keep up with my family as much as I can. When I’m back home I really just hang out with my family there are so many of us, we just always have different family functions where we can spend time with each other. The same with my friends in America, I have lots of friends in different cities and other states so making the most of travelling to see them and keeping those relationships tight knit.

Finally, who is your favourite British basketball player and why?
I don’t really know, I would probably say all my team mates I don’t want to upset anyone on the team, they all accepted Joe (Tagarelli) and I straight away and we have great chemistry amongst the group so those guys are my favourite British players!