Point guard Ben Hansbrough was the last player to make this year’s roster for the Indiana Pacers. Hansbrough, who raised some eyebrows during Summer League play for the Pacers, was seen basically as a coin flip. Maybe Tyler Hansbrough’s younger brother would be a good practice squad player. Maybe Hansbrough would be able to see some playing time late in games that were out of reach. Well, with the recent demotion of back-up point guard D.J. Augustin, young Ben Hansbrough literally and figuratively got his shot.
Hansbrough made his debut as a second-string player for the Pacers on Wednesday night, spending much of his 17 minutes on the court with his older brother, Tyler. The younger Hansbrough had an impact while he played, putting up six points, two steals, a rebound and an assist. A scrappy altercation occurred in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game, when Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson, threw a wild elbow at the face of Ben Hansbrough, while fighting for a rebound with his brother. Thompson was tagged with a flagrant foul, and appreciation from the fans in the stands at Bankers Life Fieldhouse could be audibly heard, chanting ‘Hans-Broooos’. It’s only one game, but this family combo has quickly seemed to inspire this team and their fans.
In a post-game interview on the court, Ben Hansbrough spoke about his inspiring debut. “I felt good about it,” Hansbrough said. “I prepared myself basically the whole Summer for this opportunity. I was definitely ready for it.”