Former VCU basketball fan-favorite and 2015 graduate Briante Weber signed a multi-year deal to stay with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, General Manager Rich Cho announced last week.
Before temporarily signing on with the Warriors last month, Weber was busy lighting up the NBA D-League. The former Ram averaged 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 3.3 steals per game with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, earning him an NBA D-League All-Star selection and Player of the Month honors for January.
As a Ram, Weber established himself as a defensive maestro and the face of former coach Shaka Smart’s “Havoc” style of play, earning himself Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year honors three consecutive seasons and leading the nation in steals in 2014. Prior to tearing his ACL during his senior season at VCU, Weber was just 12 steals short of the all-time NCAA record.
It’s this sort of ferocious tenacity that Weber says makes him unique.
“I have not seen another player like me,” said. “I tend to try to be different from everybody else. I don’t want to be labelled as a one-way player or a guy that can just do one thing. I try to do it all and do whatever I can do to help my team.
“I’m not a nice guy on the court in between those lines,” Weber added. “It’s either me or you. I’m taking my chances with anybody, so I’m just going to continue to fight.”
Charlotte marks the fourth home for the former Ram in the last 13 months, but Weber said he hopes to make his stay last awhile in the Tar Heel state. Born just 350 miles northeast in Chesapeake, Virginia, Weber said his spot on the Hornets grants him a unique opportunity that his former teams — the Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors — couldn’t provide.
“I’m closer to home,” Weber said. “I can see my mom way more than I could anywhere else. I’m definitely a momma’s boy, so me being able to see her at pretty much every home game is going to be something to feel good about.”
Joining the Hornets also provides a chance for Weber to team up with his former VCU roommate and fellow Ram fan-favorite and 2015 grad, Treveon Graham.
“Being able to play with my brother again,” Weber said in an interview with Basketball Insiders, “it’s just something you don’t really do as much leaving college.”
Graham said he’s equally excited to once again suit up alongside his former college teammate.
“He’s kind of the reason I went to VCU,” Graham said. “He wanted me to go to VCU, so I repaid the favor. I guess him coming here, I can help on the things that he needs help with, whether it’s plays or getting to know the city … I’m here to help him out.”
Weber’s deal will see him in Charlotte through the end of next season — a relief to the 6-foot-2 point guard after signing consecutive 10-day contracts with both the Hornets and Warriors this month.
“It’s definitely a good feeling, but one thing about me is that I never get satisfied with where I’m at,” Weber said. “I’m going to continue to grow and continue to help the team in any way I can.”
It’s been a long and hard-fought battle for the former Black and Gold fan-favorite through injuries, D-League assignments and uncertain 10-day contracts, but Weber said he’s happy to finally achieve his childhood aspirations after latching on long-term with the Hornets.
“I’ve been saying I was going to be an NBA player since I was five,” he said. “I told my mom that and, at the end of the day, I would never give up on the dream.”