Pacers rookie Ike Anigbogu scrimmages for the first time

Ike Anigbogu participated in a full-court scrimmage at Monday’s practice for the first time since being selected by the Pacers with the 47th overall pick in June.

He tweaked his right knee during his workout for the Pacers, one of the four teams that brought him in prior to the 2017 NBA Draft.

“This was Ike’s first practice where he went all out. I thought he did a pretty decent job of getting out there and playing,” coach Nate McMillan said. “Everything has been half-court for him in these first six practices. Today was the first day that he was allowed to go full-court.”

After giving the team Sunday off, McMillan put the team through two 12-minute quarters to conclude practice.

“Right away we recognized after about four or five trips down the floor, we need to be better conditioned,” he said. “Which is what I was kind of expecting.”

Ike Anigbogu (pronounced EE-kay ann-ee-BOH-goo), who turns 19 this month, is a 6-foot-10, 250-pound bruiser in the middle who specializes in rebounding, rim protection, and doing the dirty work.

That’s what the rookie showed the Pacers during his pre-draft workout back on May 22nd. But the knee sprain near the end of the workout caused him to sit out of summer league, and kept him out of full-court play … until Monday.

“We were doing the shooting series and I came down off a screen, and I kind of like pivoted on my foot, twisted it a little bit, and (my knee) locked up. I didn’t think it was that serious at the time,” he explained.

“They were like, ‘Yeah, we’ve seen enough.'”

LISTEN: Podcast with Pac-12 host Mike Yam — on UCLA’s T.J. Leaf and Ike Anigbogu

Anigbogu works with Gansey (left), and Jones (right) after practice.

It’s something he’s dealt worth before. He had surgery last October, before his only season at UCLA last fall, to repair the meniscus in his right knee.

Monday was a step in the right direction for Anigbogu, and it’s just a start.

He said in July that he didn’t think it would sink in that he was an NBA player until he was out on the court. Training camp is one thing, and then game action is played at a whole different level.

After practices, he had been working with big man coach Popeye Jones, and Mad Ants head coach Steve Gansey.

“I want to him out on the court,” Pacers President Kevin Pritchard said. “He is a defensive presence right now. Today. That’s what he’ll bring. Whether he can pick up some concepts, whether he can get in great shape – he’s been banged up and bruised a little bit, he should be fine.”

Edmond Sumner, who signed a two-way deal, had surgery on his left ACL in March and then shoulder surgery in May. His timeline to return to game action (with the Mad Ants in Fort Wayne) is January. G League standout Trey McKinney-Jones remains out with an unspecified injury.

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4 Responses to Pacers rookie Ike Anigbogu scrimmages for the first time
  1. Andrew A Papier
    October 2, 2017 | 11:01 pm

    These guys are seemingly always out of shape when they get to camp. Not sure I understand why?

    • Scott Agness
      October 2, 2017 | 11:35 pm

      Well Ike’s knee hasn’t been 100 percent and so he’s obviously not in game shape. And game shape is different than being in general shape. I think that’s the biggest thing for those not returning from injury.

    • always something
      October 4, 2017 | 10:08 am

      Not in game shape yes, but not in shape, no way that should happen. No way someone gets in shape in two weeks, game shape, maybe, but with shortened pre season it hightlights the importance of being ready to go when they get there.

  2. MJTCPA
    October 3, 2017 | 12:11 pm

    Ike Anigbogu could easily become an Andrew Bynum type big if his game matures. Unfortunately, he could have Bynum’s similar knee issues. Unbelievable opportunity for a second round pick. Pacers must have been doing the happy dance when they realized he had dropped to them. While he will be a project for a while, but the upside is incredible. Exceptional pick by KP and the draft team.

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