swingman Danny Granger
is giving back to New Mexico.
Granger, who went to the University of New Mexico, is sponsoring an AAU basketball team, the Granger Hurricanes, in Albuquerque.
"They asked me in the summer time if I would be interested and told them yeah," said Granger, who donated $40,000 toward the program. "I had wanted to do it before and now I'm getting a chance to do it. I'll get to coach in the summer some time, and that's right up my alley."
Granger said the name Hurricanes comes from his hometown of New Orleans and that there will probably be three age groups in the AAU program.
Granger's sponsorship comes just months after he donated $500,000 to the University of New Mexico for its renovation of its arena, "The Pit." The donations will be done in five annual $100,000 increments. The university plans to name the locker room after Granger.
Coming along slowly
Pacers point guard Travis Diener
can't pinpoint a date on which he could play without pain in his left foot.
Diener, who is being limited to 12 minutes a game
, said he's fighting through the ongoing pain that caused him to miss the preseason.
Diener, who has played in every game since his return, said the toughest challenge he faces is his explosiveness.
"It's a day-by-day, game-by-game thing," Diener said.
Getting to the rotation
Center Rasho Nesterovic
, who missed the previous four games
with an ankle sprain, should return to the lineup this week.
Pacers coach Jim O'Brien
will have to decide on the kind of rotation he wants to use when Nesterovic returns. O'Brien has been using nine players.
"I don't know if I'll go to a 10-man rotation," O'Brien said. "It'll probably stay nine man."
has started alongside T.J. Ford
, Granger, Marquis Daniels
and Troy Murphy
in Nesterovic's place.
Diener, Jarrett Jack
and rookies Brandon Rush
and Roy Hibbert
have rounded out the rotation.
Former Carmel High School standout Josh McRoberts
got his first action as a Pacer. Starting in place of the sick Murphy in the second half, McRoberts brought some life to the defense with several deflections in 10 minutes.
Little-used Maceo Baston
also provided some energy in his eight minutes.
"He was active with his hands," O'Brien said about McRoberts. "He gave us a lot of energy."