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Tyler Hansbrough

Tyler Hansbrough

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What's this?Please select....Baseball TicketsNBA TicketsNFL TicketsNASCAR TicketsWWE TicketsGolf TicketsTennis Tickets Pacers take Hansbrough in first roundPosted | Comment | Recommend E-mail | Save | Print | By Cliff Brunt, AP Sports WriterINDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird usually doesn't let too much information out before the NBA draft.Still, he couldn't hide his respect for North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough, even saying he hoped the forward would be available when the Pacers were ready to make the 13th pick Thursday night."I think he's going to be a good one." Bird said earlier in the week.

"They have picked on Tyler for four years, but all he's ever done is won.

I like to watch him play."Bird backed up his words with action by making Hansbrough a key part of his rebuilding effort, hoping the hardworking power forward brings a winning attitude to the struggling Pacers.

Indiana has missed the playoffs the past three years.Hansbrough led North Carolina to the NCAA title this past season, and The Associated Press named him its national player of the year in 2008.

The Atlantic Coast Conference's all-time leading scorer is best known for his intensity.

He lost a contact lens and got a bloody nose during a workout in Indianapolis this month."Obviously, we're very happy we had the opportunity to draft Tyler," Bird said.

"He's dedicated to the game and he'll fit into what we're trying to do here.

He's all about winning."Reaction at Conseco Fieldhouse was mixed.

Hansbrough told The Associated Press this week he knows he has doubters."People can overlook my athleticism or whatever," Hansbrough said.

"People can say what they want, but I get the job done on the court."It is the second straight year the Pacers have added a player from the previous college national champion on draft night.

Last year, Indiana got Kansas guard Brandon Rush in a trade with Portland.Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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