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Hansbrough Brothers Enjoying Rare Opportunity
Posted By Joel Brigham On November 23, 2012 @ 12:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
There have been, surprisingly, quite a few sets of siblings that have played in the NBA, but it’s a much rarer occurrence to have them play on the same team. Dick and Tom Van Arsdale were able to play together in Phoenix the last season of their careers, and Brent and Mark Price spent a season together with Washington in the ‘90s. Dominique Wilkins and his little brother Gerald spent some of one season together in Orlando, but that’s pretty much the end of the list.
Not counting Indiana’s Tyler and Ben Hansbrough, that is.
“Once I graduated college, I always in the back of my mind wanted to play again with Tyler,” the younger Ben said. “We last played in high school together, so to have this opportunity is just another part of a dream come true.”
As high school teammates, they won the Missouri state championship for Poplar Bluff High School. But, despite being so close in age, Ben said it’s hard to judge who’s better because they rarely go head-to-head.
“We didn’t really play a lot of one on one,” he said. “Most of the time we’d play in open gym. It was really physical—it’s always really physical when we play—but it’s always fun, too.
“I heard there have only been four (sets of siblings) that have played on the same team,” he added. “So this has been really good. It’s been nice to have this opportunity, and it’s been easier making this transition with this team with a brother here.”
Tyler said the fact that he was already on the team didn’t have anything to do with his little brother getting his opportunity. According to the elder sibling, Ben made his way in the NBA all on his own.
“Honestly, I think he had a couple of good workouts here and they liked him,” Tyler said. “He went to summer league, got invited to camp and impressed people enough to make the squad.
“It’s been special,” he added. “Just seeing him get to this level of basketball is something else. Having played with him, especially growing up, all the backyard battles and then playing high school ball together, eventually meeting on the NBA stage is kind of a dream come true.”
It was a dream for the Van Arsdales and Wilkinses and Prices, too, but their opportunities were short-lived. Not as pros, obviously, but as brothers playing for the same team. The Hans-bros would certainly like a long and prosperous career together as Indiana Pacers, but that will depend on Ben’s development as the team’s third-string point guard.
If he can perform well consistently, these two guys could be the first that come to mind as brothers playing for the same team, and it could stay that way for a while. In the meantime, though, they’re just going to enjoy the ride, and play like they did as state champions in high school.
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