INDIANAPOLIS — Attention friends and distant relatives of Yogi Ferrell: It’s not personal. He just didn’t have any more tickets to give.
Ferrell — who was named runner-up for Indiana Mr. Basketball his senior year of high school — went back to the scene of some of his greatest triumphs Friday, and his family was more than happy to tag along.
“It’s definitely something special,” he said at shootaround Friday morning. “I never actually say myself coming back here to play — basically where I grew up . . . I got about 30 people coming that I know of. A lot of people were asking for tickets but there’s only so many tickets, so I had to give them to all my immediate family. I’m just very excited to be back.”
It’s sweeter specifically because of how unlikely it all is. He won state championships with Park Tudor School at what was then called Conseco Fieldhouse — it’s Bankers Life Fieldhouse now — and came back at various junctures while playing for Indiana University. But then he went undrafted, got waived by the Nets, got picked up by their D-League team and, after all that, Friday night he was suited up to play in his old home for the first time in his NBA career.
He scored 10 points in 21 minutes and earned a huge ovation when he checked in with 4:48 left in the first quarter.
“It’s something special to me knowing I have a lot of friends out there,” he said. “Those people that don’t get to see me play in New York, across the country, this is a chance for them to come. It’s going to be a very special moment for me, my family and my friends.”
Rondae gets a day
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson sat out Friday after leaving Wednesday’s game against the Celtics with an injured ankle . . . Trevor Booker turned 29 Friday, but didn’t get much fanfare. “Nobody got me a gift. Not even the rookies,” he said before the game. “A good gift would be a win tonight. We need one.”