Average to Savage
Average to Savage

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Alexis Hornbuckle | Average To Savage EP113


This is the one hundred and thirteenth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring 2x WNBA and 2x NCAA champion Alexis Hornbuckle. Paul Guarino talked with Alexis Hornbuckle discussing her time at Tennessee, her WNBA career, and what she's doing now.

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This podcast interview with Alexis Hornbuckle was originally recorded on December 17, 2020

This'll is the average to savage podcast with Paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone, athletes, celebs and much more. What's up, everybody? I'm back for another episode of the average savage podcast. Our special guest today is Alexis Hornbuckle. Alexis. How's it going? Going? Well, man, thanks for having me. I appreciate you coming on. Let's just go back in time. How did you first get involved playing basketball? Uh, my dad. Coach. My brother played my uncle's coach. My cousins played, So I grew up in the gym, and when I was about two years old, I started dribbling like working on ball handling and stuff and never really looked back. But ironically, that wasn't even my first love. But that's really how it started and led into being playing on organized sports and four years old. So what was your first love? My first love was soccer, man Howard. Did you play soccer in high school? Yeah, I gotta Renee to play soccer in high school, too. So So eso was there a point where you got to take basketball more serious than soccer, like in high school, where you like I grew up playing travel, basketball and travel soccer. Then there came a point where you can't do two different travel sport because they're practically here. So obviously around, like, eight around, like, nine or 10 years old. I'm like, Hey, like, I'm actually pretty good at this game. It's fun. And that's where all my focus one. So were you were you, like, disappointed that you're better at basketball than soccer? No. I have scholarships and soccer, too. So you're a baller. All right, All right. No. Yeah. All right. I didn't I didn't even know that. So that's crazy. Um, so then, yeah. How did you So I know you were like the number one player in the in the nation to. So how did you how? What was your recruiting process like and like, how did you ultimately pick Tennessee? Um, the recruiting process was crazy. I'm talking about trash bags on trash bags full of letters from people, every college, you know, all throughout the nation. And so I really had my my picket any any school I wanted to go to. To be honest, um, Tennessee caught my eye in the nineties when they had the HBO special about the Cinderella dance. Basically is there? Come back season after losing 10 games in the regular season and coming back and winning the national championship. And it was a scenario in there where I guess the girls miss curfew or, you know, didn't do something they were supposed to do. Pat put trash cans on all four corners of the court and random, so people threw up in all four trash can, uh, e don't wanna go there like I'm just crazy like I need I need that. I need that. I love it. And I was hooked since, like, sixth grade. So, you know, Tennessee really chose me. They just didn't know it. Oh, we're, uh what about? But was there any, like, was there like, a final three or not? Yeah. I went to Duke on official visit. They were up there and possibly Georgia, because my one of my best friends, Tasha Humphries, um, also McDonald's all American and all stars stand out. And we were gonna go either the Duke or Georgia. I'm like, No, I'm really going to the ceiling, George, especially in the sec. And, you know, UConn was always a possibility because UConn But the more that I bled orange, the less I could even look at UConn's an option for, like, I was betraying Tennessee. Eso really? It was I knew I was going to the University of Tennessee the moment they sent that first little question. Everything. You know, that that starts from the beginning of recruiting, and then you start to get, you know, calls emails, letters on, but not So that's how that went for me. Well, I gotta ask them. Did you Did you visit you come. I did not only school. I visited on an official visit. Waas Duke. I went to...

...you and see unofficial Virginia Unofficial. Um, that was about it. 00 I went toe Tennessee, of course. Official. What? And what about like you being from West Virginia, which is smaller state? Uh, like what? What was Was it like surprising to you since you were from the smaller state? Yeah, but no. Because is that we My dad always did a great job coaching wise and building an organization that forced everyone on our team to grow literally. Every player that I played within a you when I graduated, we all went to college on scholarship and it's just like we have bought into the process. So I expected big things because I put in big time work, and that's all I was raised. Like you put in the work you're gonna get, you're gonna get the outcome that you desire. My desire was Tennessee, so I made sure to put in the work. Yeah, definitely. And going back to the soccer question, I gotta ask, uh, did like, did you? You didn't take any visits for those Or, like, did someone tried to sway you, Thio play soccer? Yeah, man, I'm not gonna play two sports in college. Like E was a little Wow, man, No, I need my social time. Uh, I would work out. Actually. My best friend was the goalkeeper. So we would do each other's workouts, like switch workouts and train together. She would go to the gym with me sometimes. Or a lot of times I go to the field with her a lot of times, So I was always around doing something playing, dabbling in it all throughout college, but not playing. And that's like two different preseason. That's to conditioning. No, e. I mean, that's dope, though, because I didn't know, like, because, like I didn't I mean, when you said it and then I didn't know that you were that good at it, too. So that's no. But what What was just like your overall experience, like at Tennessee? Oh, man, it was awesome. I mean, I honestly I wish I could go back now and, like, really watch it and and take it all in because, you know, when you're living especially, you know, 18 to 21 year old kid, you don't take it all in. Well, I didn't anyway, so it was a blessing. I mean, I was challenged every day in the classroom. I was challenged, especially in the weight room in the training room, even when I trainer and corporate coach Summitt. So it was a unique experience. I think the best thing that ever happened to me was when I broke my wrist my sophomore year because I got to step back and see everything from the player and coaches perspective and it. It kind of brought my relationship with Coach Summitt closer. And that's what really kick started that vibe that we begin to build because I can't be in class enhance man. The last two seasons you won the championship. Eso What? What were the which actually which one? Which one was sweeter? The first one in the second? The first one? Because the first one, you know, you also got the O on the a za champion. Yeah. No, actually, we had to stay in and and celebrate because obviously, everybody is not 21. Number one, but number two. We had the draft the very next day. It's not how it is. Not so like that. Next morning way had to be up by, like, 67 in the morning like we had, uh, ESPN interviews with with the starting five and then straight from there, go back to the hotel, get your stuff that you bring into the draft drop. It was about an hour and a half away, and then you're at the draft product. Then you go back to Knoxville. You landed in Knoxville. You got a fricking parade and all types of stuff. So my first one was the best because it was first. But in terms of celebrating, I would have to say Oh, no, I was about seven. No, live. Oh, So it was a classic. The departing crazy. The wind was crazy. Everything was wild. And plus O eight, I had to go straight to Detroit, so we didn't really get toe Soak that in. Yeah, that s so it was So the draft, it was literally the day after. Yeah, I used...

...to be like that. I don't know why they organize their like that, but eso, uh did they even have them wait? So were you present? Did they have, like, the draft, like in person? Are you there? Okay. In person? Yep. In person. Dragged me, My mom, my dad, my brother, a few of my cousins. My sister? Yeah. Yeah. You know, I'm all I'm all messed up because, you know, this year and stuff, there's there's no drafts anyways, but, uh but yeah. So what? What? What? Yeah, that. I mean, that's the world Windows stuff. So what was it like Just to get drafted fourth overall by the shock? It was amazing just to be in that, you know, top five. I would love to have been in the top three, fell one short, but yeah, I think Detroit was the perfect fit for me, to be honest, I mean, dealing with Bill and Rick and Cheryl worries that I mean, building bricking themselves. The bad boys like you can't you can't Not hard. And that's my That's my whole vibe. Anyway, like I'm going 110 the minute I stepped on the court and I like how they push me, challenged me every day, but also, like, listen, you're gonna do it our way or you gonna sit down? So that Z the similar structure that I came up in a Sfar as my dad coached me. Then him handed me to Coach Summitt. Then, you know, from Coach Summitt to Coach Bill, it was the perfect situation. I was excited. And I have family in Detroit, so I'm more than excited. Yeah, yeah. I mean, I mean the coaches that you had it all like legendary Pat Summitt. Bill on Bare. Cheryl Reed. Would you think that, like, helped you in your career a lot, Like just having great coaches? Absolutely. Because they make you make you They make you do more than just play the game. They make you think the game learning game. Read the game. I understand the game, study the game, and so that way you are always Manning as a student of the game. So the more you're learning, the more you're gonna learn to do and implement into your game or be able to stop. You know if it's a defensive session, but it makes you grow past your position or past your game. You're seeing everybody. You're you're seeing how to help your teammates more. Just the interaction is talking to him before and after practice. They just kept the rial ous, faras what needed to be worked on to gain more playing time. Who was the toughest to play for the toughest go something e gets it. You have very intensive lady, especially if it's just one of them. Days like you can't breathe right? Blink right like it's one of them. Like you're you're just walking on eggshells. It gets bad and they're PJ. It gets bad. Um, what about like, how do you How do you feel about like Bill? And very like as ex former NBA player, just like working on W N B A. I think it's awesome. I mean, I think it's amazing to be able to bring his skill set and talent over there, too. I mean, over to our side. But he does a great job of coaching the women's. I mean, he has a proven track record of that, Uh, he's pretty much been successful. Or, you know, winning championships are competing for championships, you know, almost his entire career on the W NBA side. But I will also say this. Obviously, there's a lot of qualified former W NBA players that could also be leading these women. And that was to me say a lot about the title nine from one of the progression and advancement of women in the workplace. But I'm not gonna take away from what Bill does on that side, because he did a great job and I enjoy winning. You know, the championship with him? Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I think Vicki Johnson just got named by I'm not sure if she did she play in the WNBA? Yeah, it was called crazy. She's older, so I will let you slide on that. But I'm young here. 2028. Oh, yeah. You ain't even 30. 30? Yeah. Yeah, B j was cool. Like that's a big...

...deal, right? there. Yeah, yeah, I know that. She got a lot of news. So that was That was, though. I mean, I think just in the past even I would say, like, two years, the w n b a girl like, just grew substantially. Especially like epidemic, like I think is more on it is more eyes were on the w N B A. Yeah, Yeah, it's weird. I mean, weird scenario, but whatever. Um, yeah. And then I think you said that I think you might be the only player to win Onley women's player to win the national championship and then the w NBA Championship. Back to back are the same year. Yeah, that was that was pretty awful competing against candidates. So it was like I was competing against my lady boss sister after just playing side by side for another championship. Yeah, that's crazy. And then, um, did you go overseas in your first season? Yeah, Well played all I played a little. Did you Did you win anything that year like 2000 and eight? No, I didn't actually did it at 3 p.m. You know, there's not much. There's, you know, there's not that much information on the overseas career. Yeah, if I had that traffic that trust me have been public notes because evolution and crazy, though. And then yeah, what was it? I know you eso You played for the Detroit Shock, and then they had to move to Tulsa. What was that like? Makes the most tense. Uh, you know, I'm not one to sugar coat, so I will say the basketball part of it. I did not like besides that, you know, we went over with about five of us from the shot, so as far as that, but the coaching situation, uh, he just he had no clue about WB and women's basketball. Like he didn't even know who the Olympians were in the league. Like we don't scouting reports and he don't know that. And then he's trying to do 40 minutes of hell with women. 21 tow 40. Nobody's doing that shit, man. But outside of that, the front office, the city, the neighborhood that was like red carpet treatment because we were the only professional team in Tulsa. You've got semi pro baseball stuff like that, but arena football, but no professional and no other professional sports. Obviously, Oklahoma City thunders in Oklahoma. So I'm in Oklahoma City. So that part I love just the basketball part. Like that's when I was like, I need to be traded. I told my agent I can't do this no more. So right before that last little trade deadline worked, worked out where I got back with a cultural reason. Minnesota. Yeah. And then you are at your part of the start of their dynasty and you won the championship again in 2011. Um, how how has that experience? That experience was good. It was different than my O A. Because my way, I was actually, you know, averaging 20 plus minutes like I was playing in that Minnesota women. I was really riding the pine man like it was politics involved in stuff. And I'm not that patient on At that time, I wasn't even that knowledgeable about how to play the politics, the game of politics and and still, you know, kind of get what I want business wise out of it. Um, so that part kind of suck, but overall, being a part of something, that was the beginning, you know, like, yeah, I want a freaking championship side by side with Simone Augustus, who I looked up to. You know what I'm saying? Watched her film. She even got me on YouTube. Highlights shaking the shit out of me off the spin move, bucket. Embarrassing me. But to me, she's you know, she's a legend on DSO being able to do that, knowing that they now have what, like four or five championships and to know I was, you know, a part of the start...

...was that's an amazing feeling. Yeah, actually, I I didn't even see this. So now you have to play in the pan and Pan Am games. Also, eso What was it like to just represent the U. S. A. You know, that was great. We were in Brazil, Coach Dawn Staley with the coach. So e used to have done stay with on my wall as a kid growing up. So that was that was an amazing experience, a humbling experience that was my first time out of the country. Really. And just be able to experience a different culture, you know, different atmosphere and also be able to play against women from all over the world. man. I met people from all different sports from boxers, thio, track jumpers. I mean, all types of things. So that's something that I'm definitely happy I got to be appointed. Yeah, definitely. And I know previously asked you, uh, if I could see your rings, But you don't have any on you. And so do you have that goal? You have that gold medal, though? Or not, uh, I do. Sometimes I put it up. So how many are you looking? How many? How many rings you have, total? Like I know. Obviously, like the the main championship ones were like, you got the three sec s, um, three sec s to N C. Double A to W N B a and then overseas man, I don't know if multiple ones. I didn't really count those. I don't know. If fucking I might have to take my background. Can you see? It s so Yeah. And on the back of your gold? Yeah, Yeah, e Guess I can always a fondness of times get rough. Uh, can I would never do that, but yeah, that was That was That was a fun experience. I was out there with Angel McCoughtry Matea Jovon Kant's? Uh no, wait. Was Candace out there? Yeah, I believe so. Yeah, CPI was there. Candice Wiggins gets far to touch the Humphreys. Um, yeah, we were just out there having a good time. Tell me a little bit. About just like your overseas Kerr. I know it's Ah, There's always wild stories over there. But like what? Just list. Like the countries you played in. Uh, turkey. Are you talking like that? I played for or that I played in, Like we were over there. Teams your team. He played for me. I played for Okay, So Turkey, Finland, Israel, Puerto Rico. Jordan. Dubai. Um, Dubai. What was that like, man, I love living in Dubai. It was a They have, like, shorter seasons and all four months of love. Yeah, the city we stayed, there was the city I played. It was called charges. So that's about 20 minutes. 15, 20 minutes, um, from actual down 25. But yeah, that was love. And I think I think that was it. Because I was I played like, four or five different seasons in Israel has been hurt. Israel's dope. That's my favorite place. Yeah, It's definitely one of my like. It's just beautiful. You You're surrounded by water and beaches and history. Great food, nice people. It's just move. Get around like I just like it a lot. Yeah, definitely. Um all right. Ready for the average of savage questions. They're gonna They're gonna They're just, like, more like fun questions. Of course I'm ready, man. Stay. Go. Watch. Maybe, like already. What was what was the worst was the worst country that you have lived in the worst country I lived in. Um oh. Oh, good question. I'd stay. Family. It's just so dark and cold. E like, two hours or something like I got. What...

...about? Who's your favorite player growing up? I think you kind of mentioned it. Um what? How I feel like my favorite favorite. Take the cake. Cindy Cooper. Alright. What about what about MBA? Did you have one? Of course. Jordan, The whole Chicago, Like, uh, Rodman. They were like I was hooked onto them. I try to take little pieces of all their games, but I've been on defense, so I was always really watching Scotty a little more. Yeah. What do you think of the last dance. I thought it was dope. It was a little It was wrong. It was. I wanted more like No, it's so much more than this. But wait, Yeah, of course they get a random forever Siri's. But just the sea is his attitude, how it functions. And then you see Mama mentality and how that, you know, kind of escalated, elevated. Andi was passed on like that was just so because I used to think I was crazy. That's how was practice, like custom teammates, about challenging, ready to fight everything like so I love it. But if you're like minded, it don't affect you and pushes you with what? You know what I'm saying? Me and Renee used to be at each other's throats in practice. I think I think the dope thing about Rodman to like it showed younger kids that, like if you play defense like, it doesn't matter if you're if you score basically like if you're getting 20 rebounds. Zero. Yeah, he was going 20 rebounds in, like, five points. Yeah, yeah, and and getting 45,000 every game. But it's also that player that's gonna do somebody you always interrupt. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I mean, I think I think they have. They have a 30 for 30. I don't think I watched this yet, but I definitely gotta check that one out, too. What about that? You are. You start. Hey, check that out. What about what? What? What's, uh when Something. People don't know about you. Some people don't know I love music. Like, um, I think growing up, I probably had lessons on I don't know how many different instruments Drums, piano, guitar, saxophone. Um, never really stuck with me because I grew up like, Oh, you play music like your nerves. Now I think it's like, the coolest thing e miss down. Be multitalented. But my mother saying still does she toward overseas singing in a gospel group. Eso grew up in the church. My brother plays the drums. I just I love music. Like all types of journals, everything from jazz to classical, you know, hit the hip hop R and B gospel all that. What's your what? Your river song right now. My favorite song right now. Probably. Uh what is it? C j d. I just like this one part. Yeah, I got a good question, then based off that, because somebody I saw somebody's like story and they were like, the thing he's gonna be like a one hit wonder, and he might be That might just be my right now, but some of that joint just listening to the words to be I don't know, it was entertaining, entertaining official. What about Why do you Why did you wear 14? Why not? My brother, my brother, were 14. My sister were 22. So if you noticed, like throughout my playing career, I try to be the 4th. 22. I got you. Well, what? All right, so then why they were those numbers, how they pick up? That's a good question. That's why I don't know. I have my brother. That my sister? I don't know. Uh, like, you know, I just felt like, you know, my sister didn't, um she played in college, but she didn't go past that. My brother played in college and a I, but he didn't complete his college. So, like being the first one graduate, you know, having an opportunity to get drafted into the pros. I just felt like I'm just always gonna continue to represent...

...them because they've helped me so much a long way. Yeah, for sure. That's dope. Um, yeah, I know you got a lot. A lot of stuff going on. Now you're on multiple podcast. Some podcast. I still don't even know what you're on. You're on. I see a different one every day. Um, yeah. Just tell the people what you're doing now. I was like, Damn, what else you got going? Well, one is. Find me retired athletes from radical unity. We do a podcast. I mean, actually, that's a broadcast partner with W Y. T V seven in Charlotte, where my partner not Matt Gershberg, which is the 14 and 41 unity show. And basically, it's It's just we live in a time now where racism is in the forefront of a lot of things and social injustices. And so people who play sports who are entertainers who, you know, are great at marketing. Like if you could get yourself out there and you're doing the right thing for the right reason, you people will see that they'll find you. You know, it's not. It doesn't start off that way, but obviously, once you do the ground work. People will find you so that, you know, way interviewed former Olympians. We've interviewed former pro players in multiple sports. Basketball, football, boxing. Um, man, you name it. But that's one. Got my podcast, the collective unfiltered every Monday night at seven. Um, after every lady ballgame way, doing bucking to emcee show where I team up with the all well known author and writer and sports fanatic in Knoxville And we do a postgame lady ball podcasts streaming live after every single game. Um, and then anything else you see me on, that's probably I was just guest on it, to be honest. Yeah, for sure. Um, and then last one has there any Has there been any, like, crazy fan, like, pull up on you before? Not pull up on. I did have a very guy from jail writing, and it got a little out of hand. I have informed, you know, all the right people coaches and manage all that. And he was just talking about how he was gonna be together when he got out. There's two things wrong with that, bro. I don't know. And number two, I'm gay. Wait. How did he know he just knew you from like basketball? Yeah, in college. I don't know, but definitely not nobody in job number. That's pretty. That's pretty funny. Range. Uh huh. Oh, man. Yeah, that's that's pretty well, e like that. Well, I appreciate you coming on. And could you let the people know where they could follow you at? Absolutely. You can find me at elections Hornbuckle dot com. You can find me on Instagram at Buck 14. 22 Twitter Hornbuckle 14, Facebook. Just Google elections, Hornbuckle or you can also look it up 14 20 to make sure you all follow me like me. Show support. Hate it or love it. I want feedback. So thank you for allowing me to use your platform and a man. It's been fun. Yeah, I appreciate it. Okay.

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