Off the Court: Brian Roberts

By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer

Among the 14 players on the New Orleans Hornets roster, 6-foot-1 point guard Brian Roberts is undoubtedly the least familiar to the team’s fan base. The 26-year-old is one of just two Hornets who went undrafted by the NBA (Lance Thomas is the other). On a New Orleans roster filled with players who suited up for marquee college programs – including two each from Kentucky and Duke – the University of Dayton product is one of only two members who did not attend a BCS school (Jason Smith played in the Mountain West Conference for Colorado State).

A pro overseas since excelling at Dayton, Roberts recently enjoyed one of the biggest highlights of his hoops career when he was signed by New Orleans. He had played in NBA summer league circuits during previous years, but has not yet appeared in an official regular season game. Roberts joined Hornets.com recently to provide more information on his background and interests away from basketball.

People who’ve had the most influence on his basketball career: “Growing up, I always watched my older siblings play basketball. I’m at least 10 years younger than all of them, so when they were in high school playing in the backyard, I would just sit there and watch. I’d try to get out there and play with them, but I was too young. [smiles] They would just kind of kick me off and say I was too small. When they got done playing, I would try to mimic what I just saw. That’s how I learned the game at a young age. I have one brother and two sisters. My brother played in college on scholarship at Valparaiso. One of my sisters was on scholarship for basketball at Kentucky. My other sister ran track at Kentucky.”

People who’ve had the most influence on him off the court: “My parents. They raised me to be disciplined. I understand what hard work is from them. I’ve gotten to this point through hard work. Nothing has been given to me. I had to go out and earn it.”

Best moment as an athlete: “Right now. To get to this point, it was a journey and a lot of hard work. Not giving up has paid off. But this is just the beginning. I want to keep working and continue to make my mark.”

How he chose his current uniform number of 22: “Throughout the years, I’ve always worn either 22 or 2. I was 2 in college, but in high school and when I was little, I wore 22. Darius (Miller) had 2 already here, and I was fine going back to 22. I didn’t really care, to be honest. He didn’t care, either. I would’ve been happy with any number.”

Something fans might be surprised to know about him: “I like music a lot. On my computer I have a DJ program. I like to do that in my off time, mixing up songs.”

Favorite thing about New Orleans: “In my short time here, I’ve noticed that it seems to be a very loyal fan base. People around here really are about New Orleans sports, the Saints and Hornets. That’s one thing that sticks out to me. I’m also really looking forward to the food. Just driving around, there are so many kinds of restaurants and different types of foods I’m not used to. I’m excited to try that stuff out.”

First job: “When I was about 13 years old, I worked at the Inverness golf course in Toledo, Ohio, for about a month as a caddy. I used to ride my bike down there on the weekends. It’s a pretty famous course. But it was too hot and a very hilly course. I was like, I think I can find something better than this.” [laughs]

Favorite athletes as a kid: “In the NBA, it was Mike Bibby and Allen Iverson. I tried to be a mix of those two, because they were similar stature as me as far as height and skill. I watched those two to try to pick up some stuff.”

What he’d be doing if he weren’t an NBA player: “Not as a full-time job, but being a DJ at a club-type atmosphere would be cool to do.”

Favorite type of music: “A lot of R&B and some hip-hop. I like Drake, Rick Ross and an underground group called Pac Div.”

Favorite TV shows: “Dexter is really good. The show 24 used to be my all-time favorite back in the day, with Jack Bauer.”

Favorite movie of all time: “I’m not sure if it’s my favorite, but one of them that I really liked was Silence of the Lambs. That whole scenario and movie blew my mind.”

Favorite websites: “Yahoo.com, ESPN.com and Worldstarhiphop.com every once in a while.”