Isaiah Hartenstein is a basketball player who has more to offer than you would normally see at first glance. What makes him so special is that he was the first and only selection of the Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association (NBA) 2017 draft, after they made a deal on the day they were called up. There are high expectations for him when he fully enters the big league.
Whether this American-German baller will be the jewel they are looking for is a question that Rockets fans and all other avid NBA supporters are asking themselves. To answer this question, it depends on who he is, where he has been, and what skills he is known to have. Here you can find out more interesting things we have collected about the young player.
Who Is Isaiah Hartenstein?
The Power Forward/Center was born on May 5, 1998, in Eugene, Oregon as a German/American. He is the son of Theresa (from Oregon) and her husband Florian Hartenstein; a former basketball player from the University of Oregon who played as a professional in Germany.
Isaiah first started playing B-ball in the USA, but after his parents moved to Germany (2008) where his father played, he joined QTSV Quakenbrück/Artland Dragons; the youth team of MTV Giessen, which plays in the Basketball Bundesliga.
The boy wasted no time in showing what he was made of when he led his team to the German championship of the U-16 Bundesliga JBBL, after which he was named the most valuable player of the 2013/14 tournament. Hartenstein’s impressive form continued when he led the U-18 team of Žalgiris Kaunas, who played in the Euroleague basketball youth tournament, to victory in the qualifying tournament. His team’s victory in the match and his impressive form earned him another title as the most valuable player.
After some time, Isaiah decided to leave the Artland Dragons after growing into the top German basketball team, and instead test his ball skills in Lithuanian with Žalgiris Kaunas from January 2016. In his first season with his new team, he helped them win the King Mindaugas Cup, the first since the club was founded.
It didn’t take long before he started to have the ambition to play in the NBA, he declared on April 22 for the 2017 NBA Draft. On draft day, the Houston Rockets selected him with the 43rd overall selection, and his skills were put to the test in the 2017 NBA Summer League and the NBA G League, where he played 38 games in the 2017/18 season, scoring an average of 9.5 points and 6.6 rebounds. After seeing his skills and being impressed, the Houston Rockets signed him professionally on July 25, 2018.
Isaiah Hartenstein is currently the place where many amateur basketball players introduce themselves and sweat on the court where they will be in a few years. The young lad who finds himself here was judged a good choice for some of the reasons listed below.
6 Things To Know About The NBA Player
- Body Measurements
A player’s height is of immense importance for any basketball team, moreover, the right body mass also ensures that the player is not pushed or passed over in attack or defense. Therefore, with a height of 7 feet (2.16 m) and a weight of 249 lbs (113 kg), Isaiah is in a better position to perform his duties as a power forward or center for his team.
- Defensive and Offensive Potentials
On the positive side of the defense, Isaiah Hartenstein has shown in the time he has played abroad that he can be a good rebounder and shot-blocker. As a then 18-year-old in the 2015/16 season at QTSV Quakenbrück, the boy averaged 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 24.4 minutes in every game. Having demonstrated this potential at this level, there is no doubt that with a proper coach and mentor he will achieve the same in the NBA.
Looking at his offensive potential, he is known for his ability to hit the basket from the demarcation line or in the paint. Nevertheless, he shot 47.9% out of the field and 42.5% on three-point shots at QTSV Quakenbrück, which aptly describes him as a threat, whether inside or outside the arc.
In addition, his cunning and versatility are skills that are increasingly in demand for power forwards/centers in the NBA, as the dynamics of the game tend more and more in that direction.
No athlete is perfect, even more so, someone as young as Hartenstein, who is rising to the highest basketball league in the world, still has a few visible blunt edges. However, over time, he is expected to master better jumping techniques without having to collect himself before the start, to improve his free-throw distance, to reduce his tendency to fluctuate, and simply to make the right moves without wanting anything flashy. He is also expected to master pick-n roll in defense.
- Career History
In the course of his young career, the US-born German professional basketball player played for teams such as Artland Dragons (205-16), Žalgiris Kaunas (2016-18), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (briefly 2017), and his NBA team the Houston Rocket (2018 to date).
- International Experience
Aside from playing in the youth and top leagues in Germany, Hartenstein can also count on international experience, having represented Germany at several tournaments such as the FIBA Europe U-16 Championship 2014, the FIBA Europe U-18 Championship 2015, and the FIBA Europe U-18 Championship 2016, where they finished fourth. He has also played with the German men’s national basketball team in EuroBasket 2017.
Basketball is undoubtedly a rewarding game, and it is almost certain that the players of the game will be paid out generously by the bank. Isaiah Hartenstein should undoubtedly be among the top earners in this sport when most things are going well for him. For the time being, his salary has been put at $838,464 a year.