Hovasse is coaching Japan's women's basketball team at the Tokyo Olympics, leading the host nation farther than they've ever gone in an Olympic tournament. After beating France in the semifinals Friday morning, they'll now face Team USA in the gold medal game on Sunday.
Before a coaching career that's included stops with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury (as an assistant) and Japanese pro team JX-Eneos Sunflowers, Hovasse found his way into two NBA games in 1994 with the Hawks.
There wasn't a whole lot to those two appearances - Hovasse made his NBA debut with a one-minute stint in a 94-92 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 4, 1994, and then he played three minutes three nights later in a 104-86 loss in Utah.
He missed one three-point shot - the only shot of his NBA career - recorded one steal and committed a foul. And that was the end of it.
Still, most basketball players never even get a few minutes in the NBA. After his stint with the Hawks, Hovasse played for a few years in Japan, paving the way for the coaching path he's taken.
According to the Associated Press, the Colorado native speaks fluent Japanese and predicted his underdog squad would reach the gold medal game before the Olympics.
“They thought I was crazy,” Hovasse told the AP. “They don’t think I’m crazy anymore."
His team has won every game they've played so far in Tokyo, save for a loss in the group round to the U.S.
That includes a 74-70 upset over France in their first group game on July 27 - the same France team that Japan will play Friday for the right to go for gold.
According to the AP, Hovasse coaches his team to play a frenetic run-and-gun style heavy on three-pointers and a full-court press defense.
If Japan reaches the gold medal game, Hovasse isn't backing down from the gargantuan task of somehow stunning the USA women.
"Our goal is to win a gold medal," he told the AP.