Snider grad Reggie Hearn loving opportunity to play for Team USA

Because of an ankle injury, Snider graduate Reggie Hearn, right, had to miss playing in Monday's Reno-Fort Wayne game. (By Blake Sebring of News-Sentinel.com)

Because of an ankle injury, Snider graduate Reggie Hearn, right, had to miss playing in Monday's Reno-Fort Wayne game. (By Blake Sebring of News-Sentinel.com)

After playing four seasons in the NBA D League, at age 26 Snider graduate Reggie Hearn might usually be running out of time on his NBA dreams. Instead, he might be getting closer than ever.

Hearn could not play for Reno on Monday night against the Mad Ants because of a sprained ankle he suffered Sunday, but he was still upbeat and optimistic after game. A lot of things have been going well for the Northwestern product.

“It’s all in God’s timing,” Hearn said. “I’m playing the best I ever have, and I feel the best I ever have. I think I’m peaking at the right time and people are starting to take notice. I’ve got a lot of people in my corner, and my Lord and Savior Jesus is behind all of it.”

He’s getting more big-time exposure than ever, playing with the United States National Team as part of the World Cup qualifying squad. Because the International Basketball Federation scheduled the tournaments during the NBA season, G League players are being used for the qualifying tournaments, giving Hearn and others a huge opportunity.

The 6-foot-4 guard is being coached by Jeff Van Gundy on the national team, averaging 11.5 points and 6 rebounds during his last two games, shooting 57 percent from the field. During five games at the AmeriCup last summer, Hearn averaged 10 points and 3.6 points as the U.S. won the gold medal in the 11-team tournament. He hit 10 of 21 shots from 3-point range.

Last year with Reno, he averaged 13.5 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 45 percent from the field, including 44 percent from 3-point range. This year he’s averaging 17.7 points and 6 rebounds for the Bighorns as his numbers continue to improve.

“I hope to get healthy and continue to play well,” he said. “I’ve been playing as good as I have my whole career. I hope to get a (NBA) call-up, but if that doesn’t happen the next opportunity would be in February, and I definitely would be open to wearing the red, white and blue and playing for Van Gundy again.”

There’s little chance he’ll have an opportunity to play in the 2019 World Cup in China, but Hearn still sees this as a great opportunity.

“Being coached by Jeff Van Gundy and getting the wear the colors is an experience,” he said. “Individually, my stats are better than they’ve ever been. I’m continuing to shoot the ball well and get to the line a little bit more. I’m getting to the basketball more and my perimeter defense has improved, and those are things the NBA folks said they wanted me to work on.”

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