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Meeting Knicks player Billy Hernangomez

Kidsday reporters, from left, Diego Monroy, Somto Emeka,

Kidsday reporters, from left, Diego Monroy, Somto Emeka, Daniel Trejo and Leila Anazagasty-Pursoo with New York Knicks player Billy Hernangomez at the Knicks training facility. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

On Monday, we were given the awesome opportunity to go to the Knicks training facility in Westchester to interview Guillermo (Billy) Hernangomez. When we first got there the New York Knicks team was practicing. After a little while, Billy came over to speak with us. He introduced himself and then asked each of us our names. He asked if we knew where he was from (Spain) and if we knew how old he was (23). He liked that we did our homework on him before the interview.

Billy was very personable and more than willing to answer our questions. He told us how excited he is for the season to begin, and also a little nervous. The first game is Thursday night. The Knicks are playing the Oklahoma City Thunder. When he first became a team member of the Knicks he was nervous and scared. When he first walked out the practice gym door his knees were shaking. Carmelo Anthony nicknamed him “Big Baby” because he was new to the team and very tall (6 feet 11 inches), but he prefers to be called Billy.

He wears the number 14 because it reminds him of his family. Billy told us that family is the most important thing there is. He has a younger brother, Juan, who plays for the Denver Nuggets. He said there is no competition between them. They speak to each other every day. They compare practices and speak about different ways they can support one another.

Billy told us that if he didn’t play basketball he would have played soccer. He said if was not a professional athlete, he would like to be a teacher. He said when he is done with basketball he would like to go back to school to become a teacher.

After Billy returned to practice, the president of the Knicks, Steve Mills, and one of the general managers, Alan Houston, came over and introduced themselves to us. They were asking where we were from and if we were having a good time. It was a great day and everyone was extremely friendly. We are Knick fans for life!

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