Growing up as a Cavs fan, I idolized the teams that had the stacked front line of Larry Nance, Hot Rod Williams, and Brad Daughtery. As a 6-foot-10 small forward, Larry was simply doing things that guys his size weren’t doing at that time. Fast forward twenty years and his son was doing his thing in the city of Cleveland. Just outside of where the Coliseum used to be, Larry Nance Jr. put in work too. Playing for Revere HS, Nance came on during his senior campaign and he only had one D-1 offer, he still managed to take the opportunity and run with it. After four solid years at Wyoming, he worked his way into the NBA Draft Combine and is fighting his way into the NBA. We watched him train in Chicago with Tim Anderson and Ryan Thompson, Larry showed off his surprising range to the NBA three point line and held his own on the blocks against guys like Bobby Portis and Cliff Alexander.
Here is the full interview that we did with Larry:
CityLeagueHoops: You were not a very highly touted guy coming out of Cleveland. What made you decide to go all the way across the country to Wyoming?
Larry Nance Jr.: Well, I came out of high school as a 6’6 center and not that many schools were interested in me. Coach Shyatt came and started recruiting me late, and they were my only offer so I had to take the visit. Then I fell in love with the place and have loved it ever since.
CLH: How do you think that you fell under the radar with having your athleticism and your Dad being who he is?
LN: I was 6’6 and I was real skinny. Our high school team wasn’t very good. If I was a coach, I wouldn’t have recruited me.
CLH: What do you think some of the bigger improvements that you’ve made on your game are to bring you where you are today?
LN: Well I grew and I got stronger, but naturally those come with age. I think mentally a grew to a new person and a new player. I grew up a lot at Wyoming.
CLH: Working with Tim and Ryan, what improvements are you looking to make on your game?
LN: I’m looking to translate to the pro game. I’m a little bit undersized to be strictly a four, so we’re working on getting my ball-handling right to improve on my shots off of the dribble so that I can maybe do some work as a three. Guarding Sam Dekker is awesome for that.
CLH: What do you think you’re going to surprise teams with in workouts that you didn’t necessarily get to show at Wyoming?
LN: I didn’t get to show any the fact that I can shoot it. I was just playing with my back to the basket with a bulldog underneath, but that’s not necessarily what I do. I”m a high flying athlete that runs the floor, blocks shots, and has a motor. If I can show that off, I think I’ll be in good standing.
CLH: If I’m an NBA GM, why do I want Larry Nance Jr. on my team?
LN: You get a high character guy and someone who has never been in any trouble in their life. I am coming to work every day and there is not one person that I will not go at. I love to compete and take every opportunity, then make the best of it.
CLH: What type of advice has your father given you throughout this process?
LN: Coming out of high school and college, he wasn’t very highly thought of either. Then coming out of Portsmouth, he went from a fifth rounder to a first rounder. That’s what I’m hoping to do here. No one is projecting me to be drafted, but no one expected me to be here coming out of high school, so I”m just hoping to surprise people again.