Athena grad Lamb gets 1st NBA call-up

Local Sports

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – NOVEMBER 19: Anthony Lamb #3 of the Vermont Catamounts shoots over Mamadi Diakite #25 of the Virginia Cavaliers in the first half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on November 19, 2019 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

Anthony Lamb signed a two-way contract with the Houston Rockets on Monday, giving the Rochester native his first NBA regular season shot.

After a short tryout with the Detroit Pistons in the preseason, Lamb was drafted into the NBA G-League. That’s pro basketball’s developmental league.

The Greece Athena grad originally played for the Canton Charge, but was on the floor less than ten minutes per game. A midseason trade sent him to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and his season took off. The Athena grad averaged 18.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in six contests with the Vipers.

It was enough for Houston to take notice. The Rockets waived another rookie to open one of their two two-way contract slots for Lamb.

Usually, players on a two-way contract spend more time in the G-League than the NBA. However, the Rio Grande Valley season is over after a first round playoff elimination. Lamb will now have a chance to spend the next few weeks, at least, with the Rockets.

NBA teams have 17 total roster spots, including the pair of players on a two-way contract. Only 15 are active for games, so it’s not a guarantee that Lamb will even suit up for an NBA game.

However, the Rockets are second last in the NBA’s Western Conference and seven games out of a playoff spot. With still half the regular season left to play, it would seem sensible for Houston to give any young player a chance.

That’s usually all Lamb needs. He was a two-time America East player of the year during an excellent four year career at the University of Vermont. It didn’t take more than a couple weeks in the G-League to already draw the attention of his NBA parent club.

Lamb makes three Rochester natives now on NBA rosters. Former McQuaid star Isaiah Stewart is getting regular reserve minutes with the Pistons. Former Bishop Kearney star Thomas Bryant is a Washington Wizard, but is out for the season with an ACL tear.

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