The Hansbroughs keep it all in the family
by By Mike Wells, The Indianapolis Star
The last time Tyler and Ben Hansbrough played on the same team in a game that meant something, they were in the starting lineup in the Missouri state basketball championship game against Vashon High School.
Tyler was the dominating power forward and Ben was the feisty point guard on the Poplar Bluff High team that upset the nation’s top high school team at the time to complete a back-to-back state championship run.
Fast forward seven years and the Hansbrough brothers are together again, with Ben attempting to pull off another upset.
Ben, 24, is trying to beat the odds and become the Indiana Pacers’ third point guard. Tyler, 26, is David West’s backup at power forward.
“You tend to take it for granted when you play together growing up,” Ben said. “You don’t really realize how fun it is to play together until he’s off at college. To have an opportunity to do it at the NBA level is a dream come true. I’m trying to make the most of this opportunity and hope it comes true.”
The Hansbroughs could join Tom and Dick Van Arsdale; Mark and Brent Price; and Dominique and Gerald Wilkins as the only brothers to play together in the NBA. That’s if Ben beats the odds and makes the Pacers’ final roster.
Kareem and Brandon Rush missed with playing with each other on the Pacers by a year in 2008.
Ben had chances to sign with other teams for training camp, but he chose the Pacers after a solid summer league showing. He also was excited about the chance to play with his older brother.
“The door opened up for me after the summer workouts and then there’s the brother factor,” he said.
Not much has changed in the seven years since the Hansbrough brothers were together in high school. Tyler still is blunt with Ben, and Ben gives it right back to his older brother.
The only difference now is the two aren’t slugging it out with their fist where the fights often ended in a draw, according to Tyler, who is much larger at 6-9, 250 pounds to 6-2, 203 for Ben.