Jordan Hulls ready to get started in Kosovo

Jordan Hulls spent his summer shuttling back and forth between Indianapolis and Bloomington, weighing his options and working out wherever he could find an open gym.

Teams in Australia, Greece, Italy, Germany and Poland expressed interest in the former IU and Bloomington South star, but Hulls held out until he found the right situation. He wanted to make sure the fit was right — he wanted the opportunity to get most of his minutes at point guard.

So, when Sigal Prishtina called this week and gave him that option, Hulls felt ready to sign and begin the next chapter of his professional career in Kosovo.

Hulls signed his contract with the Balkan International Basketball League team on Wednesday and leaves for Europe on Tuesday. It’s a quick turnaround, but Hulls is prepared and eager to start a season that features more games than the Polish schedule he played last year.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity,” Hulls said. “It seems like a great club from the coach and the GM, who I talked to a little (Wednesday). It’s kind of a whirlwind feeling. I found out (Tuesday). Financially, it’s good for me. It’s a good situation. I’m just really excited about it.”

Hulls got that first taste of professional basketball last season in Poland, where he averaged 9.1 points and 2.9 assists, while shooting more than 40 percent from 3-point range. The experience was one Hulls learned from, for better and for worse. It’s a different game once you leave the shores of North America, a different atmosphere.

And, for a man who had never spent much time living outside the confines of Bloomington, there was a stark cultural adjustment to navigate.

“There’s a little bit of a learning curve as far as being away from home,” Hulls said. “I’ve never been away from home like that. Then there’s the style of coaching and the players you’re playing with, just different things like that — little things you take for granted back here in the states. I think it was good for me because it allowed me to go through some adversity. I built some relationships in a different culture and that was the good part about it. I think you can take anything away from every situation you’re put in. I was able to do that.”

Playing in Kosovo means Hulls will be a mere four-hour drive from his friend and former IU teammate Will Sheehey, who recently signed a deal with KK Buducnost in Montenegro. Hulls said he isn’t sure whether their teams will meet at some point, but is hoping their paths will cross off the court, at least.

“If I have a long weekend, we talked about linking up and doing whatever,” Hulls said. “But that’s cool to be that close to one of my good friends.”

Hulls worked out with the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday in an open gym environment in Indianapolis. It was an opportunity to run the court with players who will be in training camp with the Pacers this fall and a chance to get in one of his final workouts before heading east.

Between getting in his work and spending as much time as he can with his fiance before leaving, Hulls has been busy.

But he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’m living the dream,” Hulls said. “This is what I always wanted to do. I’m just happy for the opportunity and blessed to be able to keep playing basketball for a living.”

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