Pat Ewing tries to follow in dad’s steps

Pat Ewing tries to follow in dad’s steps

After a one-year absence from the sport, Patrick Ewing Jr. is expected to be back again with the New York Knicks. This is not the same Pat Ewing, a former all-star center, from several years ago when he made headline after headline and blocked those shots from the center position for the Knicks.

Pat Ewing Sr. is the present Orlando Magic coach also in the National Basketball Association who donned a Knick uniform.

And on Tuesday evening, Nov. 2, Orlando takes on the Knicks at Madison Square Garden for a 7:30 p.m. start.

“It’ll be just like another game,” Ewing, Jr. said. “I had the privilege to play for him (last) summer in the NBA Summer League. It’ll be the first time playing against him… We play early in the season. We’ll see what happens now.”

Why bring up a player who is trying to make the roster of a NBA franchise?

Patrick Ewing Jr. is the grandson and Pat Ewing Sr. is the son of Carl Ewing, who never played basketball in his native land of Jamaica, West Indies, where the hoop sport was never big. He was a hard worker. I am not sure if he played any sport. I knew that he boxed for a little while. Cricket and soccer are played on the island of Jamaica.

“My father and I got our work ethics from Carl, who lives in Massachusetts and still goes to basketball games when he can. He is getting old and is now in his 80s. He doesn’t go out much as he used to. He watches games on television and roots for his family.

Ewing said at the start of training camp that there wasn’t any pressure on him because of his father playing for the Knicks.

“I went to Georgetown University,” said Ewing Jr. “If there was any pressure I would have probably gotten it there from the college because my father took that team to three national championship games.

“Here with the Knicks he was a professional. I am a professional Now I’m enjoying the moment,” Ewing Jr. said.

Ewing, Jr. played his high school ball in Maryland and college ball first at Indiana for two years and for the last two years transferred to Georgetown. He helped to lead Big East Conference member Georgetown to the NCAA Final Four in 2006-2007 and was given the inaugural Conference Big East Sixth Man of the Year award for the 2007-2008 season. Going to the Final Four was a big highlight in his career.

“The reason I transferred to Georgetown was because I never played in a post season game while I was at Indiana,” he said. “My whole objective was to go for a national championship.”

During the summer of 2008, Sacramento selected him in the second round of the NBA draft. He got traded to Houston, and was traded to the Knicks and then was waived by the same Knicks. He played for Reno of the NBA Developmental League, sat out last year after he got hurt and was signed as a free agent by the Knicks last August. Now he has to adjust to the NBA game.

“I have to be able to get a lot of stops on defense and be consistent with my shot,” he said. “The coach wants me on offense to score when I can but my role will be to knock down open shots and play good defense.”

Ewing thinks that Coach Mike D’Antoni and President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh brought in the right pieces to turn this thing around and make this team a winner.

“I feel that we can make a run at the playoffs,” Ewing, Jr. said. “I can help them out on and off the court.”