Roy Hibbert is known for being personable, entertaining, and outgoing, from letting teammates pour water on his head during a live interview; to photobombing the NBA Countdown Crew on TV; to posting photos of his remarkably large bed on social media.
“I’m a down to earth person, and I try to never act like I’m too good. On the court, I’m serious, but if you know me, you’ll see how I am on Instagram and Twitter is how I am in real life,” says Roy. “I always felt that I’m the same person I was back when I was sitting in a dorm room in high school with my friends.”
Roy is also a famously avid consumer of video games and television, with an iTunes TV downloading habit that would scare even the most inveterate TV addict.
Hibbert’s passion for video games started as a child, as he spent countless hours playing Nintendo NES, Sega Genesis, PlayStation and Gameboy. It may be surprising to hear about an All-NBA performer, but in high school, Hibbert was at his most dominant on PlayStation.
“I could dunk from the free throw line, hit 3s, run the point, everything in NCAA March Madness.”
Even today, Roy keeps his hand-eye coordination sharp by playing at least 10-15 minutes of his favorite game, Call of Duty, before every Pacers’ game.
Influenced by his mother’s Star Trek fandom, the center is a huge fan of sci-fi with Battlestar Galactica being his favorite show.
“As a kid, my mom said in Trinidad that they didn’t get that many TV channels from the states, but one show they always got from the states was Star Trek,” remembers Roy. “When, I was younger, my mom used to watch Star Trek all the time, so that was one thing I take away from my childhood. That’s probably the genre I gravitate to the most.”
But, still a fan of comedy, in 2011, Roy lobbied hard for a guest role on one of his favorite TV shows, Parks and Recreation. Set in a fictional town in Indiana, the show was a perfect fit for the Pacers star. Roy appeared as himself, employed by Aziz Ansari’s character Tom Haverford to play one-on-one basketball with Detlef Schrempf for 75% of his NBA salary during the 2011 lockout. He made a second appearance in a 2012 episode, in which Tom Haverford hired him at his company’s farewell party to distribute shrimp, and again made a cameo in 2013, buying steak for all the characters, except Tom, who “owes me a lot of money.”
While video games and TV shows are an integral part of Roy’s identity, the most important figures in Roy’s life are his parents, who have been his biggest and most positive influence.
“My parents worked a couple of jobs when I was growing up. They taught me how to work hard and nothing comes easy,” recalls Roy.
Even with all Roy has accomplished on the basketball court, the times spent with his parents are his fondest memories.
“We’re a close-knit bunch. They still give me advice to this day,” said Roy. “My father always tells me ‘play strong, play together’ and my mother does the same.”
Roy is currently engaged to his college girlfriend Valerie Cooke.
When his NBA career is over, Roy wants fans to remember him as a hard working player and great center.
“You always get defined by how many championships you win, so I hope to have at least one, and hopefully more, but you got to have one if you want to be remembered as great.”