If anybody deserves a break and some stability in his life, it’s Ricky Ledo.
In the past few years, Ledo has been shuffled around so much he probably woke up in his Las Vegas hotel room today not knowing where he was or where he needed to be next. The 6-foot-6 guard has lived the life of a vagabond.
Chaotic situations seem to follow Ledo like a dark shadow. They even followed him to college at Providence, where last year the NCAA ruled he was academically ineligible to play for the Friars.
That forced Ledo to sit and fret and ponder his future in basketball. It also forced him to have some sleepless nights, and to take inventory of his life.
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Ledo attended four high schools in three states. And he’s already been the property of three NBA teams, though he hasn’t played a single NBA game yet — other than two summer league games for the Dallas Mavericks.
In essence, Ledo has been on the move more often than a truck driver.
Ledo, though, is hoping to put down some roots in Dallas with the Mavs. A lot of that, however, depends on how he prospers in the Las Vegas Summer League.
“I just want to get to know what I’m doing,” Ledo said Sunday after the Mavs lost to Charlotte 86-80. “And I just want to be able to come to work every day.”
By all accounts, Ledo has star potential. He was the main man at St. Andrew’s School in Barrington, R.I., which finished second in the Class B conference during his sophomore season.
Also, Ledo led Notre Dame Preparatory School in Fitchburg, Mass., to the Prep National Finals. And, as a senior at South Kent (Conn.) High School, Ledo garnered second-team all-conference accolades.
Following his brief stay at Providence, Ledo tossed his name in the NBA hat and was drafted No. 43 overall by Milwaukee. However, before the Bucks hat on his head could get warm, Ledo was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
But the Sixers subsequently traded him to the Mavs, who were intrigued by his potential.
“It was pretty crazy,” Ledo said of last month’s NBA Draft. “But I was just happy to get drafted.”
Ledo has been on the Mavs’ radar for quite some time. But prior to the draft, the only thing scouts had to go on was Ledo’s high school film from Friars’ practices, in which the NCAA allowed him to partake.
“I just want to keep getting better and keep playing my game and just overall play,” Ledo said. “I haven’t played in a year-and-a-half, so this is just getting work in.
“It was really hard sitting out [at Providence]. But everything happens for a reason.”
In high school, Ledo was a McDonald’s All-American and rated among the Top 25 best players in the country. His skill set is obviously very high.
Whether that can translate to the NBA game, no one knows for sure.
After two summer league games, Ledo has discovered that the NBA game can be unforgiving. Ledo had nine points on 4 of 5 shooting in his debut Saturday in a win over Sacramento, but in Sunday’s loss to Charlotte he was just 1 of 8 from the field with only four points, six rebounds and three turnovers.
“He’s young and he’s learning how to play,” said Mavericks assistant Monte Mathis, the team’s summer league coach. “He had some open shots, he just couldn’t knock them down.
“But the one thing he can do is affect the game and impact the game in other ways. On the defensive end, running out on the break, getting in the paint, because he’s a good passer in finding open guys.”
If the Mavs play their cards right, the acquisition of Ledo could wind up being one of the steals of this off-season. For Ledo’s sake, it would be nice if he could just stay in one place, unpack and put that vagabond lifestyle in his rear-view mirror for a while.