This weekend I got to witness much more than the normal David Lighty.
For the last five years, Ohio State fans have had the opportunity to watch Lighty grow. He began as the little-used recruit of a stellar class that featured the likes of Greg Oden and Mike Conley.
Then something happened after his injury in 2008: He stepped up his game.
Lighty has never really been thought of as the feature guy on the Buckeyes. You usually don’t find him dominating a stat line or drawing much attention to himself, but that all changed this weekend in Cleveland.
For those of you who don’t know, Lighty is a Cleveland guy.
When most athletes walk into Quicken Loans Arena they are wearing hats from New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. When Lighty walked into Quicken Loans Arena, he was donning a red, white and blue Cleveland Indians hat.
From the moment he stepped foot into the arena, you could tell there was something different about him. His shot seemed a little bit better, his smile was a little brighter and his game was taken to a new level.
It began on Friday night against the University of Texas-San Antonio. He came out against the runners and hit two three-pointers and locked up their starting shooting guard Melvin Johnson III for five points on 1-for-9 shooting. After the game he ran into the stands, hugged his family and gave his mom a kiss.
For most kids, a blowout victory would be a great return home. However, that was just an appetizer for the Cleveland fans.
Lighty torched the George Mason Patriots on Sunday afternoon in front of a sold-out Cleveland crowd. He was 7-for-7 from three-point land and scored 25 points in 30 minutes for the Buckeyes. In fact, his only miss for the game came on an alley-oop attempt that the scoring table ruled a shot.
After the game was over, he sprinted back onto the court raising his hands getting the Cleveland crowd even more rowdy then they already were. During his post-game interview, he was drowned with cheers of “Ligh-ty, Ligh-ty”.
Lighty would be the perfect shooting guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers next season. He is athletic, can lock-down the opposing team’s best scorer and can go off for 20 points at any given time.
He is currently projected as a mid-to-late second-round pick, but after today’s performance, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rise to late first/early second round.
The Cavaliers need help at the shooting guard and small forward positions badly going into this offseason and drafting a guy who loves to play in front of the Cleveland fans would be an excellent addition to the community and team.
If that isn’t enough for you, after the game when the rest of the Buckeyes were leaving and getting ready to go, I was talking to Lighty in the locker room and he had one thing to say, “I love Cleveland; I don’t ever want to leave”.
I replied, "Let’s get you in a Cavaliers uniform next season," and he said, “I hope it happens.”
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