INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - It's hard not to find Indiana connections when players come in for a work out with the Pacers. The deep rooted tradition of basketball in the state is well known.
Ohio State's Keita Bates-Diop knows it well and would love to play in a state with that type of basketball passion.
In a pre-draft workout with the Pacers on Friday, the former Buckeye recalled growing up in Bloomington Illinois, fully aware of the fandom.
"I know basketball fans in Indiana are really crazy, I knew that growing up," the Buckeye star said Friday afternoon. "I grew up in Illinois, bordering Indiana and I just know they're crazy."
Another pre-draft prospect who would love to play here? Villanova's national championship hero, Donte DiVincenzo...even if the memories of Hinkle Fieldhouse the past two years playing Butler, are not fond.
"We lost twice, so I'm hoping if I land here the memories will be a little bit different," DiVincenzo said of Villanova's losses at Hinkle. "Fans here, they're so hard to play in front of when you're the opposing team, just because they get after you."
But the one player working out today with family history in the organization, is central Florida’s A.J. Davis, his father Antonio Davis was drafted by the Pacers in 1990.
"My dad did a lot of great things for this organization" Davis said. "He gave it his heart."
Antonio Davis played in Indy for six years and was on the Reggie Miller led team where the Knicks and the Pacers dueled it out in that three year stretch of playoff match up.
He and his father haven’t delved too far into the archives but he has learned one thing from his dad, that Indiana basketball fans are one of a kind.
"Indiana is one of the best places as far as a basketball state," A.J. said. "It feels good just to be back here now, its come full circle ."
But to carry on his dad's legacy in Indiana? That would mean everything.
"He played hard and it would be an honor to continue that legacy."
The NBA draft is June 21.