Roberts parlays summer showing into signing
By: Jim Eichenhofer,, @Jim_Eichenhofer

Brian RobertsAt 26 years old, Brian Roberts is still a very young man in terms of chronological age. As it relates to a potential NBA career, though, the University of Dayton product realizes he’s entering what could be viewed as a make-or-break stage. During the 6-foot-1 point guard’s stellar showing at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas with the Hornets, Roberts noted that after playing overseas since 2008, he had decided to make another serious attempt at carving out a spot in the world’s premier basketball league.

“I’ve always said that I wanted to make one more push at it,” said Roberts, who averaged 13.8 points for New Orleans in Las Vegas. “After playing (overseas) for the last few years, I felt like I’ve developed myself, as far as playing the point guard position and understanding what skills you need to play at the highest level. I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to give it a go one more time. I just felt like this was a good chance.”

Roberts’ gradual career-long improvement – he played most recently in Germany’s professional league – and eye-opening performances last month in Nevada ultimately resulted in a big payoff for the Toledo native. On Friday, the Hornets announced that they have signed him to a free-agent contract.

In his five games at NBA Summer League, Roberts displayed considerable poise and impressed with his ability to make open shots. He shot 50 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from three-point range (6-for-11). Roberts also nearly led the Hornets to a comeback victory in their final Las Vegas contest against Golden State, but injured his ankle late in the game after reeling off 10 points in rapid succession. He finished the 80-72 defeat with a total of 18 points, marking the fifth time in five games that he reached double digits in scoring. His average of 13.8 points was second on the Hornets during summer league, trailing only Lance Thomas.