Life has ‘come full circle’ for the Hoibergs of Husker hoops
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – There are 22 father-son duos in Division I college basketball this season, and Nebraska’s Fred and Sam Hoiberg are one of them.
“I had a couple coaches reach out that have kids who played for them and just said, ‘You really got to savor this, you really have to enjoy and appreciate because it goes so fast,’ and it does,” Fred Hoiberg said.
He said he’s trying to soak it in.
“Not everybody gets the chance and the opportunity to spend this much quality time with your kid,” the coach said.
Sam Hoiberg, a redshirt freshman and a Lincoln Pius X grad, has appeared in the Huskers’ last four games.
“I just call him dad,” Sam Hoiberg said. “It’s too weird calling him coach.”
He says playing for his dad was something he and his twin brother, Charlie, dreamed of since they were in kindergarten.
Basketball didn’t end up being Charlie’s thing, but it sure is Sam’s.
“It’s kind of come full circle because I didn’t know when I came here, if I’d really ever have this opportunity to play,” Sam said. “My goal was to be playing by my third year, I knew I was gonna redshirt and then try to develop. But since injuries happen, it’s come earlier and just being able to take advantage of it, it feels really satisfying to have that come to fruition.”
Coach Hoiberg said when he’s coaching a game, he doesn’t think too much about how special it is – he has other things to worry about – but postgame, watching film is when it really hits him.
“That’s kind of when it sinks in,” he said. “That’s when it’s pretty cool, is when it’s your kid out there helping do really good things when he’s still in the early stages of his career.”
The coach said he’s proud of the way his son’s handled being thrown into the thick of things.
“The thing I’ve been most pleased with Sam is just his poise in how he’s gone out, and the moment hasn’t been too big for him,” he said. “… I’ve been really proud of him for how he’s taken advantage of these minutes after really being a guy that probably got ready in garbage time.”
Sam said some of that poise comes from having his dad around.
“Having him on the sideline helps a bit, helps me stay calm,” he said.
The Hoibergs return to action Wednesday night in Ann Arbor when the Huskers play Michigan on the road.