Off the court with Josh McRoberts

Josh McRoberts
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Dave Calabro/Eyewitness Sports

Indianapolis - On a rare night off, it's not too hard to find Josh McRoberts. He loves to make a quick stop at his childhood hangout.

"I stick with pepperoni and cheese. I am a basic kind of guy," said the Pacers power forward/center, about to dig in at Pizza King in Carmel.

McRoberts doesn't know how long he's been eating their pizza.

"Probably since I was born, I don't know. Since I had teeth!" he laughed.

This is a chance for McRoberts to slow down and reflect on his incredible life playing NBA basketball in his hometown.

"It's a dream come true, really. I think it's an honor to be on the Pacers no matter where you're from, but especially to be from the community and know what the Pacers mean to the community I think kind of gives us a different feel," he said.

McRoberts is in his third season with the Pacers.

It all started at Carmel High School. I joined him for a visit to his alma mater. McRoberts said he hadn't been back since graduating.

As a freshman, he was a bean pole 6'5" kid with braces. He was 6'10" by his senior year, and a star player who was highly recruited by many colleges.

McRoberts says he never thought he'd end up in the NBA.

"I just love playing basketball. I had the opportunity to play from an early age. My family was always involved in it and friends were always involved in it. Honestly my biggest dream was probably to play here, to play at Carmel High School. That was my biggest aspiration. So everything after that was like a bonus to me," he said.

On court where the Carmel Greyhounds play, McRoberts said, "You get a sense of pride and it's home, you know. You feel like it's a special place. It will always bring back some good memories for me."

His picture hangs on the wall outside the gym. McRoberts was the McDonald's All- American MVP.

On the night we visited, he watched as some junior high players chase their dream.

"It seems like I should be out there. It doesn't seem like that long ago I was out there doing similar things so time flies, I guess," he said.

McRoberts has a little brother coming through the ranks. Zach McRoberts is a Carmel freshman with a ton of potential.

"He will be fine. There is no standard or anything for him to live up to. I'm proud of him no matter what. If he plays basketball or never plays basketball again, I will be proud of him,,doesn't matter," said McRoberts.

McRoberts and his Greyhound team never won a state title, but he learned great life lessons.

"I think in general just how important it is to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself; to be able to be part of a school, a community, a team. I think that is something I will take with me," he said.