MIAMI — Rodney McGruder’s journey to the NBA has been a wild one.
After going undrafted in 2013, Rodney signed with the Thunder but was waived before the start of the season. Rodney then decided to spend the 2013-14 season in Hungary.
Rodney’s stay in Hungary lasted eight months before he came back to play in the United States.
I spoke to Rodney about his experience in Hungary for the latest installment of our question and answer segment we will bring you throughout the season.
Q: Was it a tough decision to leave the United States to play overseas in Hungary?
Rodney: “Nah. I had just went to Oklahoma City training camp and after that I felt like I wanted to get that experience overseas and see how it was.”
Q: How’s the basketball over there? Is it different?
Rodney: “It was the same basketball. I really love the European game and their fundamentals. I just liked playing over there. It was fun.”
Q: What was the most different thing you ate over there?
Rodney: “I used to go to this place and get cut pieces of chicken and stuff like that. But one time, he asked me if I wanted to try duck. He gave me duck and I tried duck for the first time. It wasn’t bad, but I haven’t had it since.”
Q: What was the hardest thing to get used to in Hungary?
Rodney: “The hardest thing when I first got there was the time difference. Man, I couldn’t get to sleep because Hungary is like five hours ahead of here. That difference right there was rough because I wanted to go to sleep when the sun was out. That was the biggest thing, really.”
Q: Did the time difference make it tough for you to communicate with family?
Rodney: “It made it tough at one point. But after a while, it wasn’t that bad. My girl came over there with me for the final five months, so that helped a lot.”
Q: Did your family travel to Hungary to watch you play?
Rodney: “No, they didn’t come because over there you really only play like one game a week. It’s not worth it. To come for a week to watch one game, that’s a lot of time you have to take off and it’s an expensive trip. I don’t think it’s worth it to come for one game.”