As my eyes wandered away from the court for a moment during Tuesday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, a rarely-seen-before sight from my peripheral view quickly brought my attention back to the court. The Wizards’ 56th pick in the 2010 draft was headed to the scorer’s table, getting ready to make just his fifth appearance all season. That sight got me smiling and fist-pumping – and definitely would have unintentionally gotten me on the Verizon Center “Fist Pump Cam” if it were happening then.
It wasn’t just the sight of Hamady N’diaye finally getting a chance to prove his worth that got me excited. It was simply seeing him jog to check in. Let me repeat: He showed excitement to play the sport he loves and actually jogged to the scorer’s table. N’diaye and his enthusiasm didn’t look like the typical substitute hopelessly aiming to show his rares amidst an unknown opportunity. But maybe the change turned out to be exactly that – hopeless at first, yet impactful in a 5:28 stint.