HOUSTON - Rockets guard Josh Christopher took the pitching mound at Minute Maid Park, home of Major League Baseball's Astros, in the same way he does upon taking the court at Toyota Center.
Cool, calm, and collected.
Christopher, picked by the Rockets in the first round of the 2021 NBA draft, was in attendance to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before Thursday's series finale between the Astros and Texas Rangers.
"It was everything I expected to be honest," Christopher said. "Ever since I got here (Houston) they have shown love and been supportive. For that love from the Rockets to transfer over to the Astros and to be a part of something special like this is a blessing. I appreciate it."
The second-year player out of Arizona State has been busy this summer preparing for the upcoming season. Christopher participated in the 2022 NBA Summer League and averaged 19.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists while playing 26.8 minutes per game.
He has also been in Houston most of the summer in the weight room, and Rockets practice facility, working out with teammates as Houston prepares for training camp in September.
"I have been working and resting my body," Christopher said of his summer routine. "Building chemistry with the guys that have been here and the new guys and just having fun. As much time as we can get on the floor with each other prior to this season, its going to be best for us. So whether its Summer League or just getting up jumpers and playing five-on-five in Toyota. Whatever it is. It helps."
After a brief stint with Houston's G-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Christopher worked his way into the rotation to become one of the first reserve names called by Stephen Silas.
On Thursday, Christopher talked in detail about his adjustments to his game entering year two. "I think I will be slower, I will look more confident and less timid," the 20-year-old told reporters. "I think you will be able to tell I have a year under my belt. I think I have become a smarter basketball player. Learned where I could be more effective. I am still learning the right spots to be on defense."
The Rockets will play their first preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center on Sunday, Oct. 2, at 6:00 p.m. CDT.
Rockets working to improve Josh Christopher's decision making on drives
Rockets shutting down Josh Christopher for rest of summer league
2021-22 Rockets roster review, offseason outlook: Josh Christopher
Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire