Isaiah Hartenstein is one basketballer who has more to him than ordinarily meets the eye. For one special thing, he was the first and only selection of the Houston Rockets in the 2017 National Basketball Association (NBA) draft after they made a trade on the draft day. There are high expectations of him as he steps into the big league fully.
Whether or not this American-German-born baller will be that gem they are looking for is a question which fans of the Rockets and every other avid NBA follower are asking? To answer this, it all comes down to who he is, where he has been, and what abilities he is known to have. Find out here, other things of interest we have gathered about the young player.
Who Is Isaiah Hartenstein?
The Power forward/Center was born on the 5th of May 1998 in Eugene, Oregon as a German/American. He is the son of Theresa (from Oregon) and her husband Florian Hartenstein; a former University of Oregon basketball player who played professionally in Germany.
Isaiah first began playing B-ball in the U.S. However, following his parent’s relocation to Germany (in 2008) where his dad was playing, he teamed up with QTSV Quakenbrück/Artland Dragons team of MTV Gießen which plays in Basketball Bundesliga.
The kid wasted no time to show the stuff he was made of as he led his team to the Under-16 Bundesliga JBBL German Championship after which he was named the Most Valuable Player in the 2013/14 tournament. Hartenstein’s impressive form continued as he led the U-18 team of Žalgiris Kaunas which played in the Euroleague Basketball Next Generation Tournament to win the qualifying tournament. His team’s victory in the match and his impressive form earned him another Most Valuable Player title.
After some time, Isaiah decided to leave Artland Dragons, having grown into the top-tier German basketball team. Instead, he tested his balling skills in Lithuanian with Žalgiris Kaunas, beginning in January 2016. In his first season with his new side, he helped them win the King Mindaugas Cup, their first ever since the club was founded.
It wasn’t long before he began nursing the ambition to play in the NBA, he declared on April 22nd for the 2017 NBA Draft. On the draft day, the Houston Rockets picked him with the 43rd overall pick, and his abilities were put to test in the 2017 NBA Summer League and in NBA G League where he played 38 games in the 2017/18 season, averaging 9.5 points and 6.6 rebounds. Having seen his abilities and being impressed with it thereof, the Houston Rockets signed him professionally on July 25, 2018.
Isaiah Hartenstein is currently where many amateur basketball players envisage and sweat out in the court to be in a few years. Having found himself here, the young lad has been adjudged a good pick for some of the reasons below.
6 Things To Know About The NBA Player
- Body Measurements
The height of a player is of immense importance for any basketball team, more so, having the right body mass will also ensure that the player is no push or walkover on attack or defense. Therefore, with Isaiah standing as tall as 7 feet 1 inch or 2.16 m and having a weight of 249 lbs or 113 kg, he is better positioned to perform his duties as a Power forward or Center for his team.
- Defensive and Offensive Potentials
On the upside of defense, Isaiah Hartenstein has shown the potentials of being a good rebounder and shot-blocker in the time he played abroad. As a then 18-year-old in the 2015/16 season with QTSV Quakenbrück, the kid averaged 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 24.4 minutes in every game. Having shown these potentials at that level, there is no doubt that with proper coaching and mentorship, he will do the same in the NBA.
Taking a look at his offensive potentials, he is renowned for having the ability to hit the basket from the perimeter or in the paint. Still, with QTSV Quakenbrück, he shot 47.9% from the field and 42.5% on three-pointers which aptly describes him as a threat whether inside or outside the arc.
In addition, his craftiness and versatility are abilities that are increasingly being in demand for Power forwards/Centers in the NBA as the dynamics of the game keep tilting towards such.
No athlete is perfect, more so, someone as young as Hartenstein coming into the top basketball league in the world still has a couple of visible blunt edges. With time, however, he is expected to master better jumping techniques without having to gather before taking off, improve his free throw stretch, reduce his turnover-prone and just make the right plays without wanting something flashy. He is also expected to master the Pick-n-Roll on defense.
- Career History
Over the course of his young career, the American-born German professional basketballer has played for teams like Artland Dragons (205-16), Žalgiris Kaunas (2016-18), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (briefly in 2017), and his NBA team the Houston Rocket (2018 to present).
- International Experience
Other than playing in the youth and top-tier league in Germany, Hartenstein also has international experience to count on as he has represented Germany in a couple of tournaments like the 2014 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship, 2015 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, and the 2016 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship which they finished fourth place in. He has equally played with the German men’s national basketball team in EuroBasket 2017.
Basketball is no doubt a rewarding game and it’s almost certain that players of the game cash out handsomely from the bank. Isaiah Hartenstein, no doubt, should be among the top-earners in the sports if most things go right for him. For now, his salary was reported to be $838,464 annually.