Ariza prepared to take leadership role in second Rockets stint
By Jenny Dial Creech
September 16, 2014

Trevor Ariza strolled into a middle school gym, stopping to shake hands, give high-fives and pose for pictures.

He wore a bright red Rockets T-shirt and a big grin as he sat with sixth- and seventh-graders to play chess against American Grandmaster Susan Polgar as part of a Rockets community event.

Ariza, who is beginning his second stint with the Rockets after being acquired from the Washington Wizards in a sign-and-trade deal in July, was visibly gleeful and comfortable among Rockets staff and the community members on this Monday afternoon. That’s the mood he has been in since his return to Houston, the city he calls his second home.

The 10-year NBA veteran spent the last two seasons in Washington, and when the free-agency period rolled around over the summer, he had a few options: his hometown of Los Angeles with the rebuilding Lakers; Dallas, where he could play alongside Dirk Nowitzki, one of the league’s top veterans; and Washington, where he had become a key leader for the up-and-coming Wizards.

“Houston is like my second home,” Ariza said, “and I liked what was happening here – the pieces that are here, the big goals they had set.

“Plus I love this city. I love the people. I love the weather. I love it here. I’m so happy to be back.”

Full article here.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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