Juancho Hernangomez discusses why he wanted to become a Raptor and the insight Marc Gasol and Jose Calderon offered him about Toronto, his experience as Bo Cruz in the movie 'Hustle' and more. Check out all of the Raptors media day availabilities on our YouTube channel.
LINDSAY DUNN: Hey, over here, Lindsay Dunn, "CityNews." Welcome to Toronto. Just what has your summer been like, the emotions of seeing your brother win that? And then also your reactions and kind of experience to being in Toronto?
JUANCHO HERNANGÓMEZ: I mean, it's been a great summer. I mean, first, the movie. We were working two years on that. And it was successfully.
And then a big summer for me, playing for my national team and winning the European championship with my brother and seeing my brother to get the MVP of the tournament. It was a honor. I mean, I'm so proud of how hard he worked for that. And I'm so proud how the team work all summer for get the tournament.
It was really, really hard. I mean, nobody count on us. And I think that's the most exciting thing, when you became a champions beating the odds. And, you know, everybody step up.
And it's huge for our country, a small country playing against bigtime players, big names here in the NBA. And we just deserve it. And we want it, we work for it, and it was a great moment.
LINDSAY DUNN: Did any of your Raptors teammates, by chance, have time to show you around the city at all? Have you spent time with any of them?
JUANCHO HERNANGÓMEZ: I mean, I just got here yesterday night. Long flight. So, I mean, I'm pretty sure we're gonna have time to show me the city.
I mean, when I was playing in other teams, I always love to come to Toronto. Great city, great restaurants, great things to do. And now we're going away for training camp, so probably next week, I got time to just relax and enjoy Toronto. It's been great weather. So I'm excited.
DOUG SMITH: Juancho, it's Doug Smith of the "Toronto Star." Tell us about the movie. How did you get into that?
Did you have acting aspirations as a kid? How did it come about? And how did you enjoy it? I hear it was a great flick.
JUANCHO HERNANGÓMEZ: It was a good time. I never expect to be in a movie. I never dreamed to be an actor. So the pandemic hit. And I was at home at my brother's place in Charlotte when he was playing in Charlotte with my sister.
We were so boring. I mean, I guess everybody of us, we were boring, being at home, doing nothing. And they asked me for, like, three months before to do the casting. It was to do some videos.
And I just did it because my sister want to do the videos and to do something as a family. And they start liking it. I don't know why. They start liking it. And I keep going through the casting process.
I got a interview with director. I got an interview with the acting teacher, and then I got a interview with Adam. And they see something-- or they see any talent or whatever it might be. And two years after, we just did a movie. So [INAUDIBLE].
- That must be fun.
JUANCHO HERNANGÓMEZ: It was fun. It was fun. Yeah, it was fun. It was tired.
I mean, we shooting for two years, two summers, days of, like, 12, 14 hours of shooting. But it was fun. I meet a lot of great people. So it was a great experience that is gonna be-- it's gonna last forever.
DOUG SMITH: Thank you.
JOSH LEWENBERG: Hey, Juancho. Josh Lewenberg, TSN. Welcome to Toronto. Congrats on the movie--
JUANCHO HERNANGÓMEZ: Appreciate it.
JOSH LEWENBERG: --and the gold medal. What intrigued you about the situation here in Toronto? Obviously, a unique roster construction and style of play, a lot of guys that are 6' 8", 6' 9".
JUANCHO HERNANGÓMEZ: Mm-hmm.
JOSH LEWENBERG: Where do you see your fit here?
JUANCHO HERNANGÓMEZ: I mean, before signing here, ask from Marc Gasol, Calderón, Sergio. Sergio was a big part of the process. And I think it fits well to my game.
I mean, they love to have, as you say, like, 6' 8", 6' 9" guys, to switch everything. I mean, they don't play by positions. Score rebounds can play point guard. Pascal can play point guard.
So it doesn't matter. It's just about desire, about work hard, and I feel that hungry. They won the championship back. And I feel like they are on a great team. They got scary young guys that is gonna be really good, and they want it. So that's enough.
SAMSON FOLK: Samson Folk, "Raptors Republic," just over here. You brought up José Calderón and Marc Gasol when talking to those guys, Sergio Guardiola as well. The Raptors have been an international franchise and had a lot of international players. I'm curious, growing up, were you more well aware of this team than maybe most people would, considering where you come from?
JUANCHO HERNANGÓMEZ: Yeah, I mean, of course every kid watch Vince Carter as an idol or a legend. I mean, we watched his highlights. We always want to be like him, but we didn't have the same bounce.
And then José Calderón play a lot of years here. He was one of the face for Toronto, I mean, us growing up. We see the Raptor and, you know, cool jerseys and the colors. And Marc were here, so that opens everything. And Sergio, of course, they went together in a tough year. And when you win, everything's easier.
- Juancho, Adam over here from "Daily Hive." You're in a position where you're still trying to establish yourself in the NBA, and you've been on a number of rosters. What are your expectations going into this training camp and your push to make a name for yourself on this team?
JUANCHO HERNANGÓMEZ: I mean, my goal is always the same goal in everything. My goal is play hard, enjoy with the basketball, do my best to help the team to win. Be part of that, and try to find my way to how I can help the team to get the goals, and how I can help the team to win, how I can help these young guys to keep getting better. And that's always gonna be my goal in every team.
- Thank you very much.
JUANCHO HERNANGÓMEZ: Sorry, guys.
- Awesome, thank you.