In the glory days of college basketball, before the one-and-done era, there were guys like Tyler Hansbrough, who despite becoming a star as a freshman, decided to play all four years instead of leaving for the NBA. Nowadays, NBA scouts don’t seem to like four year guys, so it’s pretty rare to see one of the best players in the country stay through his senior year.
North Carolina Tar Heels legend Tyler Hansbrough is one of the most-memorable college basketball players of the 21st century. He made it to the NBA, but wasn’t nearly as dominant as he was in college. After his seven year NBA career, where is Tyler Hansbrough now?
Hansbrough’s high school career
Playing for his local high school in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Hansbrough was one of the best players in the country. He led the Poplar Bluff Mules to two consecutive state championships averaging 28 points and 7 rebounds as a senior. In the state championship game he scored 29 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. Hansbrough was named the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year and was invited to play in both the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic.
Coming out of high school, Hansbrough was a five-star recruit and the tenth ranked player in the country. He committed to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels just before his senior year. After committing to UNC, Hansbrough said “My relationship with Coach Williams was the deciding factor in my decision, Hansbrough added.”He just did a great job of recruiting me, and he made my family very comfortable. I just can not wait to play for him next year.”
In high school, Hansbrough was teammates with his younger brother Ben, who went on to play for both Mississippi State and Notre Dame.
Freshman season at UNC
Hansbrough was a freshman the season after Roy Williams and the Tar Heels won the fourth title in the University of North Carolina’s history. While it wasn’t necessarily a rebuilding year, the team was basically starting from scratch as Raymond Felton, Sean May, Rashad McCants and Marvin Williams all left for the NBA. The new look Tar Heels had plenty of talent alongside Hansbrough including upperclassmen David Noel and Reyshawn Terry along with freshman Danny Green.
In his first collegiate season, Hansbrough led the Tar Heels in scoring with 18.9 points per game. UNC finished second in the ACC and secured a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Although they were one of the hotter teams in the country, the Heels ran into the George Mason Cinderella team and were eliminated in the second round.
UNC’s MVP and the Gerald Henderson incident
After a tremendous freshman season, Hansbrough returned to Chapel Hill as a man on a mission. He led the Tar Heels in scoring and rebounding and was a consensus first team All-American in his sophomore year. After putting up big numbers in just about every game, Hansbrough was named UNC’s MVP.
In the final minute of a UNC vs. Duke game, Gerald Henderson elbowed Hansbrough in the face. Hansbrough left the game with a broken nose and Henderson received a one game suspension from the NCAA.
UNC beat NC State in the ACC tournament and was awarded a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Heels made it to the Elite Eight before falling to Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert and the No. 2 seeded Georgetown Hoyas.
Hansbrough wins National Player of the Year
The expectations for Hansbrough entering his junior season were high and the UNC star did not disappoint. In his third year in a Tar Heels uniform, Hansbrough averaged 22.6 points and 10.2 rebounds.
He led UNC to another ACC Championship and was named the consensus National Player of the Year. In addition to winning the NPOY, Hansbrough was named the ACC Player of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP and the ACC’s Male Athlete of the Year.
Entering the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, UNC had a relatively easy time reaching the Final Four before losing to the Kansas team that went on to beat Derrick Rose and the Memphis Tigers in the National Title Game.
National title run and Hansbrough’s final UNC stats
Hansbrough’s senior year was the icing on the cake. Although his individual stats took a tiny dip and his teammate Ty Lawson took home the ACC Player of the Year honors, Hansbrough still had a tremendous senior season. The Tar Heels entered the ACC Tournament as the favorite to win the conference but were upset by FSU. Duke went on to win the conference tournament but Hansbrough and the Heels had their eyes on a bigger prize.
Entering the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed once again, UNC’s trip to the Final Four was a breeze. The Heels won each tournament game by double digits, including the National Championship Game against the Michigan State Spartans. In a game that felt like it was over right as it began, Hansbrough scored 18 points and UNC won 89-72.
In Hansbrough’s decorated UNC career, the forward averaged 20.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. After a legendary career, Hansbrough’s UNC jersey was retired.
Hansbrough’s stats in the NBA and the Boban Marjanovich moment
With the 13th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Indiana Pacers selected Tyler Hansbrough.
Due to health problems, he barely played in his rookie year, he did average 11 point per game in his second season. Hansbrough was never a star, but he was a key contributor off the bench for the Pacers team that battled LeBron James and the Miami Heat for seven games in the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals.
Hansbrough played a total of four seasons in Indiana before headed to Toronto. In his two seasons with the Raptors combined he averaged 4.25 points and 4 rebounds per game.
His last stop in the NBA was in Charlotte where he played in 44 games averaging 2.4 points and 2 rebounds per game. Although Hansbrough appeared to be fearless throughout his NBA career, there was one time in Charlotte that the power forward did seem a bit shook. The Hornets were playing the Spurs and Boban Marjanovich checked in the game. The 7-foot-4 Marjanovich signaled that he would be covering Hansbrough, and the former Tar Heel looked petrified with fear. Hansbrough probably wasn’t actually afraid, but the NBA community had a field day with it on Twitter.
Boban Marjanovic: "Tony, I've got him." Tyler Hansbrough: "Oh dear God…" https://t.co/nixm3QSGWq
— Caleb Saenz (@calebjsaenz) November 8, 2015
After seven years in the NBA the former UNC forward had a career average of 6.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and less than one assist per game
Hansbrough’s stats while playing in China
After a seven year career in the NBA, Hansbrough took his talents overseas to play in China. While in China he played for the Guangzhou Long Lions, Zhejiang Lions and the Sichuan Blue Whales.
Hansbrough’s numbers in China looked a lot more like his stats at North Carolina than in the NBA. With the Guangzhou Long Lions he averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds in 37 games. In his second season in China, playing for the Zhejiang Lions, Hansbrough averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds in 27 games. Despite only playing in 17games, his third season in China may be his best. While playing with the Sichuan Blue Whales, Hansbrough averaged 32 points and 13 rebounds per game.
Hansbrough signed a contract to play another season with the Blue Whales, but Covid-19 restrictions got in the way and he hasn’t played in a professional game since 2020.
Where is Tyler Hansbrough today, is he married? What is his net worth?
Today Tyler Hansbrough is back in the United States. He has an estimated net worth of $19 million dollars. He is not married, but according to his Instagram he appears to be dating a woman named Savita Senthil.
In February of 2021 Hansbrough returned to UNC as an announcer for the Tar Heels game against Northeastern. At this point, Hansbrough has been around the game long enough to breakdown anything that’s happening on the court.
When asked about Hansbrough’s broadcasting future, former UNC coach Roy Williams said “Tyler is a very bright young man and if that’s what he decides to do, he’ll be very good at it because he is going to work at it. He is going to let people coach him. He is going to let people give him advice about X and O and what’s good and what’s bad.”
Anyone who remembers Tyler Hansbrough from his UNC days knows that Roy Williams is right. If there’s one thing that was apparent when watching Hansbrough play it was that nobody was going to outwork him.
While we’re not sure what’s next for Hansbrough, we can confidently say that there’s a good chance he will be successful in whatever he chooses to do.