Here’s hoping you were able to catch last Saturday’s resounding Texas Legends win against the Reno BigHorns. Not only did this game feature an all-out assault by Texas’ offense, it was also the last Legends home game of 2014.
Spotlight on: Damion James and Ivan Johnson
Known for his fiery disposition on the court, Ivan Johnson has made his presence felt during his brief tenure with the Texas Legends.
The San Antonio native and University of Oregon alum was added to the Legends’ roster after an impressive summer stint with the team.
Although a new face for the Legends, the 6’8”, 230 lb power forward is quite familiar with the NBA’s Developmental League, with a resumé that includes 3 previous D-League teams. Over the 2007-2008 season, he averaged 13.9 points per game while playing for the Anaheim Arsenal and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Following the strength of that season, Johnson signed on with the South Korean League and played two seasons, first with the Changwon LG Sakers, then with the Jeonju KCC Egis squad.
Then it was back to the D-League for one season with the Erie BayHawks, before picking up some time in both Puerto Rico and China. The hard work and hefty travel paid off for Johnson, as the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks signed him prior to the 2011-2012 season. Per 36 Minutes played, Johnson had two very solid seasons with the Hawks, averaging 13.7 points with 8.7 rebounds in 2011-12, while putting up 15.7 points and 3.9 rebounds the next year.
The Hawks did not offer him a contract extension, thus he signed on to play one more season in China, this time with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls. So far so good for Johnson with the Legends this season, as, over five games, he has averaged 10.8 ppg with 4.6 total rebounds.
Damion James, a former first round pick from the University of Texas, has already had an excellent professional basketball career. Last season, James was an All-Star with the Bakersfield Jam and was named to the prestigious NBA D-League All-Defensive First Team.
James was traded by the Jam to the Texas Legends late last February, where he quickly became a fan favorite in Frisco. Once the 2013-2014 D-League season came to a close, James signed on with the San Antonio Spurs for the remainder of the NBA season. At the conclusion of that season, James earned an NBA Championship as his Spurs topped the Miami Heat in convincing fashion, four games to one.
During the off-season, James was waived by the Washington Wizards before being reacquired by the Texas Legends. The Legends’ faith in James has truly paid off as he is averaging a team-leading 18.4 ppg, with 10.4 total rebounds per game to boot.
Upcoming Texas Legends Games
The Texas Legends (9-5) hit the road for a two-game East Coast run against the Erie Bayhawks (7-8) and Atlantic Division-leading Maine Red Claws (12-3), before returning home on January 3. Purchase your tickets online today! And as always, you can catch every Legends road game live via their YouTube channel.