Hibbert’s preference is to stay with Pacers



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Roy Hibbert likes playing in Indiana and the Pacers are planning to keep their All-Star center happy.

Before hosting a charity softball game Thursday night in downtown Indianapolis, Hibbert made it clear he “loves” Indiana but stopped short of saying he would return at any cost. Coach Frank Vogel, who was playing in the game, says the team isn’t going to let Hibbert go anywhere.

With an expiring contract, Hibbert can become a restricted free agent July 1. That means the Pacers could match any other team’s offer for Hibbert, who averaged 12.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in 65 games last season.

It’s not just the Pacers who want Hibbert to stay. Colts defensive end Robert Mathis, who co-hosts the softball game, also is trying to convince Hibbert.