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 savagepodcast with Paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone, athletes, celebsand much more. What's up, everybody? I'm back for another episode of theaverage savage podcast. Our special guest today is Alexis Hornbuckle.Alexis. How's it going? Going? Well, man, thanks for having me. I appreciateyou coming on. Let's just go back in time. How did you first get involvedplaying basketball? Uh, my dad. Coach. My brother played myuncle's coach. My cousins played, So I grew up in the gym, and when I wasabout two years old, I started dribbling like working on ball handlingand stuff and never really looked back. But ironically, that wasn't even myfirst love. But that's really how it started and led into being playing onorganized 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 inhigh school, too. So So eso was there a point where you got to take basketballmore serious than soccer, like in high school, where you like I grew up playing travel, basketballand travel soccer. Then there came a point where you can't do two differenttravel sport because they're practically here. So obviously around,like, eight around, like, nine or 10 years old. I'm like, Hey, like, I'mactually 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 atbasketball 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 Ididn't even know that. So that's crazy. Um, so then, yeah. How did you So Iknow you were like the number one player in the in the nation to. So howdid you how? What was your recruiting process like and like, how did youultimately pick Tennessee? Um, the recruiting process was crazy.I'm talking about trash bags on trash bags full of letters from people, everycollege, you know, all throughout the nation. And so I really had my mypicket any any school I wanted to go to. To be honest, um, Tennessee caught myeye 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 regularseason and coming back and winning the national championship. And it was ascenario in there where I guess the girls miss curfew or, you know, didn'tdo something they were supposed to do. Pat put trash cans on all four cornersof the court and random, so people threw up in all four trash can, uh, e don't wanna go there like I'm justcrazy 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 justdidn't know it. Oh, we're, uh what about? But was there any, like, wasthere 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 andall 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, youknow, UConn was always a possibility because UConn But the more that I bledorange, the less I could even look at UConn's an option for, like, I wasbetraying Tennessee. Eso really? It was I knew I was going to the University ofTennessee the moment they sent that first little question. Everything. Youknow, that that starts from the beginning of recruiting, and then youstart to get, you know, calls emails, letters on, but not So that's how thatwent for me. Well, I gotta ask them. Did you Did you visit you come. I did not only school. I visited on anofficial visit. Waas Duke. I went to...

...you and see unofficial VirginiaUnofficial. 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 smallerstate? Uh, like what? What was Was it like surprising to you since you werefrom the smaller state? Yeah, but no. Because is that we My dad always did a great jobcoaching wise and building an organization that forced everyone onour team to grow literally. Every player that I played within a you whenI graduated, we all went to college on scholarship and it's just like we have bought intothe process. So I expected big things because I put in big time work, andthat's all I was raised. Like you put in the work you're gonna get, you'regonna get the outcome that you desire. My desire was Tennessee, so I made sureto 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 notgonna play two sports in college. Like E was a little Wow, man, No, I need mysocial time. Uh, I would work out. Actually. My best friend was thegoalkeeper. So we would do each other's workouts, like switch workouts andtrain together. She would go to the gym with me sometimes. Or a lot of times Igo to the field with her a lot of times, So I was always around doing somethingplaying, dabbling in it all throughout college, but not playing. And that'slike two different preseason. That's to conditioning. No, e. I mean, that'sdope, 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. Sothat's no. But what What was just like your overall experience, like atTennessee? Oh, man, it was awesome. I mean, Ihonestly I wish I could go back now and, like, really watch it and and take itall in because, you know, when you're living especially, you know, 18 to 21year old kid, you don't take it all in. Well, I didn't anyway, so it was ablessing. I mean, I was challenged every day in the classroom. I waschallenged, especially in the weight room in the training room, even when Itrainer and corporate coach Summitt. So it was a unique experience. I think thebest thing that ever happened to me was when I broke my wrist my sophomore yearbecause I got to step back and see everything from the player and coachesperspective and it. It kind of brought my relationship with Coach Summittcloser. And that's what really kick started that vibe that we begin tobuild because I can't be in class enhance man. The last two seasons youwon 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 thefirst 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, everybodyis 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 fiveand then straight from there, go back to the hotel, get your stuff that youbring into the draft drop. It was about an hour and a half away, and thenyou're at the draft product. Then you go back to Knoxville. You landed inKnoxville. You got a fricking parade and all types of stuff. So my first one was the best because itwas 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. Everythingwas wild. And plus O eight, I had to go straight to Detroit, so we didn'treally get toe Soak that in. Yeah, that s so it was So the draft, it wasliterally the day after. Yeah, I used...

...to be like that. I don't know why theyorganize their like that, but eso, uh did they even have them wait? So wereyou 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 messedup because, you know, this year and stuff, there's there's no draftsanyways, but, uh but yeah. So what? What? What? Yeah, that. I mean, that'sthe world Windows stuff. So what was it like Just to get drafted fourth overallby the shock? It was amazing just to be in that, youknow, 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, Imean, dealing with Bill and Rick and Cheryl worries that I mean, buildingbricking themselves. The bad boys like you can't you can't Not hard. Andthat's my That's my whole vibe. Anyway, like I'm going 110 the minute I steppedon 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 Zthe similar structure that I came up in a Sfar as my dad coached me. Then himhanded 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 hadit all like legendary Pat Summitt. Bill on Bare. Cheryl Reed. Would you thinkthat, 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 justplay the game. They make you think the game learning game. Read the game. Iunderstand the game, study the game, and so that way you are always Manningas a student of the game. So the more you're learning, the more you're gonnalearn to do and implement into your game or be able to stop. You know ifit's a defensive session, but it makes you grow past your position or pastyour game. You're seeing everybody. You're you're seeing how to help yourteammates more. Just the interaction is talking to him before and afterpractice. They just kept the rial ous, faras what needed to be worked on togain more playing time. Who was the toughest to play for the toughest go something e gets it. You have veryintensive lady, especially if it's just one of them. Days like you can'tbreathe right? Blink right like it's one of them. Like you're you're justwalking on eggshells. It gets bad and they're PJ. It gets bad. Um, what about like, how do you How doyou feel about like Bill? And very like as ex former NBA player, just likeworking on W N B A. I think it's awesome. I mean, I thinkit's amazing to be able to bring his skill set and talent over there, too. Imean, over to our side. But he does a great job of coaching the women's. Imean, he has a proven track record of that, Uh, he's pretty much beensuccessful. Or, you know, winning championships are competing forchampionships, you know, almost his entire career on the W NBA side. But Iwill also say this. Obviously, there's a lot of qualified former W NBA playersthat could also be leading these women. And that was to me say a lot about thetitle nine from one of the progression and advancement of women in theworkplace. 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 championshipwith him? Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I think Vicki Johnson just got named byI'm not sure if she did she play in the WNBA? Yeah, it was called crazy. She'solder, 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 knowthat. She got a lot of news. So that was That was, though. I mean, I thinkjust in the past even I would say, like, two years, the w n b a girl like, justgrew substantially. Especially like epidemic, like I thinkis more on it is more eyes were on the w N B A. Yeah, Yeah, it's weird. I mean, weirdscenario, but whatever. Um, yeah. And then I think you said that I think youmight be the only player to win Onley women's player to win the nationalchampionship and then the w NBA Championship. Back to back are the sameyear. Yeah, that was that was pretty awfulcompeting against candidates. So it was like I was competing against my ladyboss sister after just playing side by side for another championship. Yeah, that's crazy. And then, um, didyou go overseas in your first season? Yeah, Well played all I played a little. Did you Did you win anything that yearlike 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 onthe overseas career. Yeah, if I had that traffic that trust me have beenpublic notes because evolution and crazy, though. And then yeah, what was it? I know youeso 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'mnot one to sugar coat, so I will say the basketball part of it. I did notlike besides that, you know, we went over with about five of us from theshot, so as far as that, but the coaching situation, uh, he just he hadno clue about WB and women's basketball. Like he didn't even know who theOlympians were in the league. Like we don't scouting reports and he don'tknow that. And then he's trying to do 40 minutes of hell with women. 21 tow40. Nobody's doing that shit, man. But outside of that, the front office, thecity, the neighborhood that was like red carpet treatment because we werethe only professional team in Tulsa. You've got semi pro baseball stuff likethat, but arena football, but no professional and no other professionalsports. Obviously, Oklahoma City thunders in Oklahoma. So I'm inOklahoma City. So that part I love just the basketball part. Like that's when Iwas like, I need to be traded. I told my agent I can't do this no more. Soright before that last little trade deadline worked, worked out where I gotback with a cultural reason. Minnesota. Yeah. And then you are at your part ofthe start of their dynasty and you won the championship again in 2011. Um, howhow has that experience? That experience was good. It wasdifferent than my O A. Because my way, I was actually, you know, averaging 20plus minutes like I was playing in that Minnesota women. I was really ridingthe pine man like it was politics involved in stuff. And I'm not thatpatient on At that time, I wasn't even that knowledgeable about how to playthe politics, the game of politics and and still, you know, kind of get what Iwant 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 wanta freaking championship side by side with Simone Augustus, who I looked upto. 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. Embarrassingme. 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 knowI was, you know, a part of the start...

...was that's an amazing feeling. Yeah, actually, I I didn't even seethis. So now you have to play in the pan and Pan Am games. Also, eso Whatwas it like to just represent the U. S. A. You know, that was great. We were inBrazil, Coach Dawn Staley with the coach. So e used to have done stay withon my wall as a kid growing up. So that was that was an amazing experience, ahumbling experience that was my first time out of the country. Really. Andjust be able to experience a different culture, you know, different atmosphereand also be able to play against women from all over the world. man. I metpeople from all different sports from boxers, thio, track jumpers. I mean,all types of things. So that's something that I'm definitely happy Igot to be appointed. Yeah, definitely. And I know previously asked you, uh, ifI could see your rings, But you don't have any on you. And so do you havethat goal? You have that gold medal, though? Or not, uh, I do. Sometimes I put it up. So howmany are you looking? How many? How many rings you have, total? Like I know.Obviously, like the the main championship ones were like, you gotthe three sec s, um, three sec s to N C. Double A to W N B a and then overseasman, 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 fondnessof times get rough. Uh, can I would never do that, but yeah, that was Thatwas That was a fun experience. I was out there with Angel McCoughtry MateaJovon 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 agood time. Tell me a little bit. About just like your overseas Kerr. I knowit'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. Heplayed 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 aThey have, like, shorter seasons and all four months of love. Yeah, the citywe stayed, there was the city I played. It was called charges. So that's about20 minutes. 15, 20 minutes, um, from actual down 25. But yeah, that was love. And I think Ithink that was it. Because I was I played like, four or five differentseasons 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 andhistory. Great food, nice people. It's just move. Get around like I just likeit a lot. Yeah, definitely. Um all right. Readyfor the average of savage questions. They're gonna They're gonna They'rejust, 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 thatyou 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, twohours or something like I got. What...

...about? Who's your favorite playergrowing up? I think you kind of mentioned it. Um what? How I feel like my favoritefavorite. Take the cake. Cindy Cooper. Alright. What about what about MBA? Didyou have one? Of course. Jordan, The whole Chicago,Like, uh, Rodman. They were like I was hooked onto them. I try to take littlepieces of all their games, but I've been on defense, so I was always reallywatching Scotty a little more. Yeah. What do you think of the last dance. I thought it was dope. It was a littleIt was wrong. It was. I wanted more like No, it's so much more than this.But wait, Yeah, of course they get a randomforever Siri's. But just the sea is his attitude, how it functions. And thenyou 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 tofight everything like so I love it. But if you're like minded, it don't affectyou and pushes you with what? You know what I'm saying? Me and Renee used tobe at each other's throats in practice. I think I think the dope thing aboutRodman to like it showed younger kids that, like if you play defense like, itdoesn't matter if you're if you score basically like if you're getting 20rebounds. Zero. Yeah, he was going 20 rebounds in, like, five points. Yeah, yeah, and and getting 45,000every game. But it's also that player that's gonna do somebody you alwaysinterrupt. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I mean, I think I think they have. They have a30 for 30. I don't think I watched this yet, but I definitely gotta check thatone 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 knowhow many different instruments Drums, piano, guitar, saxophone. Um, neverreally stuck with me because I grew up like, Oh, you play music like yournerves. Now I think it's like, the coolest thing e miss down. Bemultitalented. But my mother saying still does she toward overseas singingin a gospel group. Eso grew up in the church. My brother plays the drums. Ijust I love music. Like all types of journals, everything from jazz toclassical, 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 justlike this one part. Yeah, I got a good question, then based off that, becausesomebody I saw somebody's like story and they were like, the thing he'sgonna be like a one hit wonder, and he might be That might just be myright now, but some of that joint just listening to the words to be I don'tknow, it was entertaining, entertaining official. What about Why do you Why didyou wear 14? Why not? My brother, my brother, were14. My sister were 22. So if you noticed, like throughout my playingcareer, I try to be the 4th. 22. I got you. Well, what? All right, so then whythey were those numbers, how they pick up? That's a good question. That's whyI don't know. I have my brother. That my sister? I don't know. Uh, like, youknow, 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 hedidn'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'mjust always gonna continue to represent...

...them because they've helped me so mucha long way. Yeah, for sure. That's dope. Um, yeah, I know you got a lot. A lotof stuff going on. Now you're on multiple podcast. Some podcast. I stilldon'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 elseyou got going? Well, one is. Find me retired athletes from radical unity. Wedo a podcast. I mean, actually, that's a broadcast partner with W Y. T V sevenin Charlotte, where my partner not Matt Gershberg, which is the 14 and 41 unityshow. And basically, it's It's just we live in a time now where racism is inthe forefront of a lot of things and social injustices. And so people whoplay sports who are entertainers who, you know, are great at marketing. Likeif you could get yourself out there and you're doing the right thing for theright 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'veinterviewed former pro players in multiple sports. Basketball, football,boxing. Um, man, you name it. But that's one. Got my podcast, thecollective unfiltered every Monday night at seven. Um, after every ladyballgame way, doing bucking to emcee show where I team up with the all wellknown author and writer and sports fanatic in Knoxville And we do apostgame lady ball podcasts streaming live after every single game. Um, andthen 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 therebeen any, like, crazy fan, like, pull up on you before? Not pull up on. I did have a very guyfrom 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 abouthow he was gonna be together when he got out. There's two things wrong withthat, bro. I don't know. And number two, I'm gay. Wait. How did he know he justknew you from like basketball? Yeah, in college. I don't know, but definitelynot nobody in job number. That's pretty. That's pretty funny. Range. Uh huh. Oh, man. Yeah, that's that's prettywell, e like that. Well, I appreciate you coming on. And could you let thepeople know where they could follow you at? Absolutely. You can find me atelections Hornbuckle dot com. You can find me on Instagram at Buck 14. 22Twitter Hornbuckle 14, Facebook. Just Google elections, Hornbuckle or you canalso 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 yourplatform and a man. It's been fun. Yeah, I appreciate it. Okay.

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