Ricky Ledo A Legend

Credit: Dennis Webb Jr.

By: Bobby Karalla --- @BobbyKaralla

Ricky Ledo did a little bit of everything in his D-League debut with the Texas Legends.

The 21-year-old Ledo, whom the Dallas Mavericks assigned to the Legends just hours before Saturday’s 111-106 win vs. the Tulsa 66ers, scored 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting, grabbed 5 rebounds, tied for the team lead with 3 assists, and added 2 steals.

At this stage in his career, literally any playing time will be key to the young wing. Ledo was named a McDonald’s All-American after his senior year of high school, and spent one year at Providence but was ruled academically ineligible for the entire season. He had essentially been out of basketball for more than a year when the Mavericks drafted him in the second round of June’s NBA Draft. He’d appeared in six games with the Mavericks, playing just 16 minutes with the big-league club.

Saturday night he played close to 24 with the Legends, and Ledo made an instant impact. On his first offensive possession, he sank a three-pointer from the corner, one of three long-range bombs on the night. And it was Ledo’s three-pointer in the third quarter that gave the Legends their first lead of the game, completing a 24-point comeback. Ledo then stole the ball on the 66ers’ next possession and ran it back for a layup in transition. Despite barely knowing the playbook, he was second on the team in scoring.

Credit: Dennis Webb Jr.

“It felt good just to get my confidence back up, knowing I can score the ball really well,” he said. “I’m just trying to bring that back up to the Mavs.”

In addition to coming up with some of the biggest plays of the game, Ledo made an immediate impression on Chris Douglas-Roberts, the team’s leading scorer.

“I was a fan of Ricky before he came down here,” Douglas-Roberts said. “He’s very young. His ceiling is unlimited. I can already see he’s very good offensively. He’s definitely a pro. He belongs in the league.”

It’s unclear how long Ledo will be with the Legends. The Mavericks’ roster is log-jammed at the shooting guard and small forward positions, and because Ledo is such a young, raw talent, playing time of any kind is the most important thing for his development.

“I just (need to) work on my game overall,” he said. “I’m young, so there’s a lot of old vets that I can learn from out there.”

One of those players is Douglas-Roberts, who said he’ll try to help Ledo’s development.

“I don’t know how long he’s gonna be down here, but I definitely plan on staying in his ear a little bit, kind of showing him the ropes,” he said.