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Basketball

STANSBURY: The right thing happened on Thursday night

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The right thing doesn’t always happen in life.

Saying that obviously isn’t anything new to you, or the rest of the universe. It is part of what makes life, you know, life.

That makes those moments when the right thing happens just a little bit better.

The right thing happened on Thursday when the Indiana Pacers took Georges Niang with the 50th pick in the NBA Draft. Iowa State’s second all-time leading scorer deserved to hear his named called by NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum.

“We thought Niang (was) really one of the best playmakers in college basketball,” Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard said in a press conference after the draft. “They pick-and-pop him, they give him the ball, makes it a lot of assists, he can shoot it… We didn’t think he’d get to 50. We had him a lot higher on the board.”

It gets annoying when people say, “They do things the right way.” What really is the right way?

I think most can agree in this case that Georges Niang has done things a good way.

He arrived in Ames as a chubby kid from Massachusetts with a deadly hook shot. He left four years later as one of the most efficient college basketball players in the country and one of the best Cyclones of all-time.

He did it all with a smile on his face. He did it all with passion, and without getting into trouble. 

He waved his arms and screamed with every made 3-pointer along with the fans packed inside of Hilton Coliseum. He cried with them when he said goodbye.

He did it all while working his ass off to become a really, really good basketball player.

Some guys have the wingspan, the upside or the athleticism. Some guys are just basketball players — and that’s Georges Niang.

That was recognized on Thursday by Larry Bird, a pretty crafty player in his own right, and his Pacers.

Niang will be able to do most everything well, even if he might not do anything at an elite level, and he’ll have a very good chance to make this roster. There are minutes to be had in the Pacers’ frontcourt.

He will do it all with a smile on his face. He’ll do it all with passion, and I’m sure he’ll scream and wave his arms along with the fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

I think I could be a Pacers fan.

Sometimes the right thing happens.

Jared Stansbury

administrator

Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.

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