INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Tuesday’s pre-draft workout is far from the first time Zak Irvin has been inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“I used to come when it was Conseco Fieldhouse,” laughs the former Hamilton Southeastern hoops standout and winner of the 2013 Indiana Mr. Basketball honor. “I was in fifth, sixth grade playing here on this court. The lines were so far back, trying to shoot the three, chucking it up there. It brings back so many memories walking into this building.”
This workout creates yet another memory to add to Irvin’s recollection, donning the Blue and Gold which he grew up cheering on from the stands.
“It’s always been a dream of mine, playing in the NBA,” adds Irvin. “Just coming here, having the Pacers gear on is always nice.”
This post-workout interview may have been steeped in nostalgia, but Irvin’s time on the hardwood was all business, hoping to impress the Pacers front office and coaching staff enough to merit a selection in this month’s NBA Draft.
“Every workout I’ve been (to), it’s been going against someone different,” he explains. “I take it as a job interview. These have been so competitive. I’m playing to be able to live for a living. It’s a game I love, and I’m enjoying every step I take.”
A 6-5, 211 pound guard, Irvin wrapped up a four-year career at Michigan with a senior season averaging 13 points, 4.5 rebounds. and 3.0 assists per game. Though his college home in Ann Arbor isn’t all that far away, less than a four hour drive, his family (which he saw the night before his workout) may be even closer to his professional home.
“My parents would love to see me in this blue and gold,” says Irvin through a smile. “We’ll see what happens.”