David Lighty took part in the Ohio Homecoming “Battle for Ohio” charity basketball game on Saturday, but the competition that the former Ohio State star is really focused on starts next weekend.
A five-year player at OSU, Lighty will be a member of the Phoenix Suns’ summer league team this month in Las Vegas. After not being selected in the 2011 NBA Draft, Lighty did not have the chance to participate in the league’s summer circuit last year due to the lockout.
One of only four players in OSU history to amass more than 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists in a career, Lighty said he hopes to showcase the versatility he displayed as a Buckeye to NBA scouts this summer.
“I pretty much can do a lot of everything,” Lighty said. “I’m not one-dimensional. If you need me to rebound, I’ll rebound. If you need me to score, I’ll score. If you need me to play defense, I’ll play defense.”
Above all, though, Lighty said he wants to bring a winning mentality into every game he plays in this summer.
“Just come out and play, man. Do whatever I got to do to help the team win, that’s what I’m all about,” he said.
Chalking up victories is certainly something Lighty was accustomed to at OSU. The all-time leader in wins as a Buckeye, Lighty won 129 games during his career, two short of the NCAA record.
Lighty, 24, was a second-team All-Big Ten selection his senior season at OSU after averaging 12.1 points, four rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
He received the first-team Lowe’s Class All-American award, based on academic, athletic and community achievement that season as well.
His accolades were not enough to warrant him a professional basketball career in the United States, however. Lighty spent the 2011-12 season playing overseas in Italy.
Lighty played with Vanoli-Braga Cremona of the Italian League until this May. He parted ways with Bennet Cantu, of the same league, in December after signing with them last summer.
While playing in Europe is not what he originally wanted, Lighty said the experience he had over the past year will benefit him as a member of the Suns this summer.
First and foremost, Lighty said his “basketball IQ” has developed immensely.
Lighty said his knowledge of the game improved while overseas.
“Going over to Italy, I understand and see why all the Europeans are so polished when they come over here,” he said.
Lighty leaves for Arizona on Monday and will begin play on Saturday with a game against the New York Knicks’ summer team. Suns’ assistant Dan Majerle will coach Lighty and the 14 other members of Phoenix’s summer roster.