After the Texas Legends defeated the Austin Spurs at Dr. Pepper Arena on Wednesday night in an important late season game with major implications on playoff seeding, fans made their way onto the court for autographs and pictures with the Legends dancers, coaches and players. This is the case after every Legends home game and it’s always entertaining to see how the different players handle it.
Fans young and old ask for pictures and request autographs on the strangest things like balloons and their ticket stub. Some players sit down on the bench and kind of fly under the radar. Most are good sports and accept all requests for however long it takes for everyone to get the shot or signature they want.
Each and every game, you can count on guard Keith Hornsby being in the middle of the hoopla with a smile on his face and even engaging with fans beyond their expectations.
The 26 year-old native of Williamsburg, Virginia is in his second season with the Legends after going undrafted in 2016 following a collegiate career that had him at UNC-Asheville and eventually sharing the court with NBA Rookie of the Year favorite Ben Simmons at LSU. The 6’4″ guard, like his Legends teammate Brandon Ashley and Jameel Warney plus former Legends teammate Kyle Collinsworth, has spent time with the Mavericks in training camp back in 2016. He appeared in five preseason games with Dallas before being waived and picked up by the Legends in the then D-League draft.
With the rapidly changing rosters of the G-League, Horsnby has been a stable presence for the Legends this season and last. He has averaged about nine points in close to 24 minutes per game in his sophomore professional campaign. This season hasn’t been without its share of challenges for him, though.
Early in the first quarter of the Legends’ December 6th game against the Canton Charge, Hornsby collided with an opposing player and went down in a load of pain. It would be the last time he would log any minutes for Texas for for close to two months thanks to a severe shoulder injury. Even though he has been back on the court since the end of January, it hasn’t been the end of the recovery from the injury.
“I have to continuously rehab to keep it strong and able to absorb contact and use it how I want to,” he said after Wednesday’s game. “I’ve been doing good at keeping up with the programs I want to do. This enabled me to continue playing this year, so I’m thankful for that.”
As the G-League schedule heads down its final stretch, Hornsby has seen a near revolving door of teammates in recent weeks. It’s nothing he’s not used to, though.
“It’s not like it’s a big surprise when people come and go. You just kind of have to roll with the changes.”
Regarding the team’s effort on Wednesday with several new players Damon Lynn and Duke Mondy, Hornsby was very impressed.
“Obviously the guys that came in seem like they’re hungry, and that’s important.”
The Legends are currently in the drivers seat for one of the six playoff spots available in the Western Conference with just 11 games left in the regular season before Friday night’s game against the Northern Arizona Suns. Hornsby and his teammates aren’t afraid of the challenges that come with playing in big games down the stretch.
“You’ve got to be thankful for the pressure. It’s a good thing we’re in a position that if we keep winning, we’ll be in the playoffs. Still, just one game at a time.”
Injuries and a rotating roster haven’t been enough to slow down Keith Hornsby and the Legends. The tests will continue to come as they battle towards a playoff spot and potentially more in the final month of the regular season.