Utah Valley’s most famous alum flew into town Wednesday night – and watched from the sidelines as his Phoenix Suns stole a close game pulling out a 107-105 victory over the Jazz.
Price’s up-and-down season has closely resembled his path from high school to the pro’s. He left high school an undersized 5’8” point guard and without a scholarship. After some time at Nicholls State, Price found his way to the Wolverines.
As a sophomore, Price averaged 15.3 points per game earning him NJCAA honorable mentions in Region 18. He blossomed as a junior, leading the newly minted Utah Valley University basketball team to a Division I provisional national championship and upped his personal stats by scoring over 20 points per game.
As a senior his average climbed to 24.3 points per game and ranking third in the nation in scoring.
Despite being ranked as the top point guard in the country, Price sat waiting for his name to be called in the draft to no avail. After signing as a free agent with Sacramento, Price jumped ship and moved home to play for the Jazz for four seasons before choosing to sign in Phoenix last summer.
Price’s season has seen him play as third string point all the way to starting two guard. Regardless of the outcome, Price remains the consummate teammate.
“It’s easy (playing his role),” Price said. “I’ve been in the league seven years now and I’ve been through it all. I’d be selfish to try and get in the line-up now when we are winning games.”
This rollercoaster season has recently seen Price play in just four of the last ten games, which presents a dichotomy of sorts for Price and his fans. As a competitor, Price wants to be on the floor every minute of every game but with the Suns pushing for a playoff spot and winning games he sets aside his aspirations for the betterment of the team.
No matter the jersey he wears, Utah will always hold a special place in his heart. His return brings back many memories and reunions.
“It’s really nice (coming back to Utah),” Price said. “Everybody is always so supportive, but seeing my in-laws is very cool.”
Price and the Suns return to Energy Solutions Arena on April 24 as Phoenix and Utah clash in a battle for the right to keep playing in this postseason.