Jordan Hulls has never spent more than two-consecutive weeks of his life outside Bloomington. So this fall will be an adjustment.
Hulls has officially signed a contract to play for Energa Czarni Slupsk, a professional basketball club based in Slupsk, Poland, near the country's northern coast, along the Baltic Sea. He’ll report for training camp in August, about a month before the season officially begins.
“It’ll be a complete life change for me,” an excited Hulls told Inside Indiana on Tuesday morning. “Not too many people can say that they got to do that.”
The move to Poland came about, Hulls said, thanks in part to his workouts with the Pacers, Bulls and Pistons in the run-up to the NBA Draft.
Those individual performances, coupled with his agent’s work to find him a home in Europe, led Indiana's former point guard to Czarni Slupsk. Hulls said the feedback he’s gotten about his new club has been positive thus far.
“(His pre-draft workouts) brought a lot of opportunities to be able to go overseas, build my resume up a little bit,” he said. “My agent has already played over there. He said the fans, that was pretty cool, how everybody’s really into it.”
For the first time in his life, the former Indiana Mr. Basketball will play the sport as a career, a challenge he said he's excited to meet.
“It’s what I’m gonna be living on, so I’m looking at it from that standpoint,” Hulls said. “I think it’ll hit me once I actually get over there and realize it, but it is a pretty good gig to get paid to play basketball. I’m not too mad about it.”
Last season at Indiana, Hulls averaged 9.7 points per game and shot 44.4 percent from behind the 3-point line. Both were numbers lower than those he’d posted in his sophomore and junior seasons, but they were enough to land him honorable mention All-Big Ten honors, and they landed him on the radar of those NBA squads.
That, in turn, helped open up the overseas opportunities, which Hulls said he believes will offer him the chance to both impact his team’s fortunes and develop himself further as a basketball player as well.
“Work my butt off, get some Euro game in me, that’ll be pretty nice,” he said. “The 3-point shooting helps me out a lot. They do value that pretty heavily. … Just making plays, being a distributor, doing whatever it takes for us to win.”
Hulls doesn’t know much yet about the makeup of the roster of his new team, although his agent told him to expect strong fan support in Slupsk.
He said he plans to reach out for further advice to former Hoosier and current Bloomington resident Haris Mujezinovic, who played for several seasons in Europe, with stops in Cyprus, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece and Ukraine.
Largely, Hulls just wants to spend the next couple of months preparing himself for the next step in his career. As he turns the page from Indiana to Europe, Hulls said he finds it satisfying to reflect on how far his former program has come, from the low points of his first two seasons to sending four players into the professional ranks this summer.
“It’s just a testament to how hard we all work and how hard the coaching staff works for us,” Hulls said. “It’s pretty cool to think about where we came from.”