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Nick Vlahos Journal Star reporter @vlahosnick

INDIANAPOLIS — For one night, Alec Peters was back home again in Indiana. Although “home” is a relative term for him these days.

Peters’ original residence is in the Peoria area. But the 22-year-old Washington Community High School graduate has been leading a nomadic existence as he pursues a career in professional basketball.

On Wednesday, that journey brought Peters to Indianapolis. At Bankers Life Fieldhouse, he and his Phoenix Suns teammates played an NBA game against the Indiana Pacers.

Indy is about 150 miles south of Valparaiso University, located in northwest Indiana near Chicago. The Suns picked Peters, Valpo’s all-time leading scorer, in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft.

In between then and now, Peters has traveled thousands of miles as he’s bounced between the Suns and their minor-league development team, which plays in the NBA G League.

Sometimes, that mileage and that bouncing can take place within a few days.

“Week to week, I don’t know where I’m going to be,” Peters said after his team practiced before it played the Pacers. “You’re going to have to be on call for whatever happens. There have been weeks where I’ve been in five different states in six days.

“I tell people all the time I forget what day of the week it is. It’s either a game day, off day or practice day to me.”

The Suns signed Peters to what’s called a two-way contract. That enables them to transfer the 6-foot-9 forward between the big club and its G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns. They play in Prescott Valley, Ariz., about 90 miles north of Phoenix.

Peters had been almost exclusively on the G League roster this season until earlier this month. On Jan. 12 against Houston, he made his first NBA-game appearance since October. He had an NBA career-high five points.

Immediately before that game in Phoenix, Peters had been in suburban Toronto for a G League showcase. Following the Houston game, Peters was on the NBA roster for a home game against Indiana, then games at Portland and Denver.

The day after the Denver game, Peters was back in the G League for a game Jan. 20 in Prescott Valley against Salt Lake City. He had 12 points, about six below his 22-game G League average.

Peters rejoined Phoenix for a game Monday night in Milwaukee, then the game at Indiana. There’s no guarantee he’ll be with the big-league Suns for their next game, Friday night at home against the New York Knicks.

All of this back-and-forth has accomplished one thing for certain: Peters’ mild case of fear of flying has abated.

“There have been times where it’s been midnight the night before the game and they said, ‘We need you to come meet the team plane in an hour and you need to fly to L.A. with the team,’” said Peters, who has spent 13 games with Phoenix and played in five.

“There’s no rhyme or reason or even a schedule to how this all goes down for me,” he said. “But they know I’m free and I’ve got nothing else to do, so … I’m a willing participant in whatever they have me do.”

Indeed, Peters isn’t complaining.

Travel with the Phoenix Suns is by private jet — unlike the commercial flights of the G League, and resultant long waits in airports. The NBA team oversees and fulfills every need, including exercise and nutrition.

“You are taken care of to your fullest extent,” Peters said. “It’s a huge motivator for when I do go to the G League. I just want to play like it’s my last day ever, because I want to get back to this level and be at this level for the rest of my career.”

Most recently against the Pacers, Peters had his longest on-court stint at that level since the Suns’ last game against them.

Peters played the entire fourth quarter in a 116-101 Phoenix loss. According to plus-minus statistics, Peters had the most positive impact on the game for the Suns, who have a 17-31 record and trailed 99-65 when the quarter began.

Peters finished with three points and five rebounds. He also demonstrated attributes beyond the box score. When the Suns’ T. J. Warren fell after he was fouled while making a basket, Peters helped him off the hardwood.

Such actions don’t appear to have gone unnoticed by Phoenix management. Neither has Peters’ 3-point ability. In the G League, he’s been shooting 41 percent from long distance.

“I think the way the game is trending, with the ability of (power forwards) to step out and shoot the 3 and space the floor, he’s got a great opportunity,” said Jay Triano, the Suns’ interim head coach. “He’s got a good basketball mind, he plays with great energy and he’s a good teammate.

“I think as the season goes on, we’ll find ways to get him in more games, just to make sure his first year is one of development at the NBA level as opposed to the G League level.”

Peters has only a one-year deal with Phoenix. He said he’s more focused on day-to-day developments and realizing his NBA dream than his long-term future in the league.

But Peters finds time to ponder his past. He still keeps in regular touch with Washington coach Kevin Brown, whom Peters planned to telephone after the game Wednesday night.

“It’s been awesome to take care of the people I’ve always wanted to take care of, because I’m in a position to do that now,” Peters said. “That’s something I’m always going to take with me moving forward. I’ll never forget where I came from.”

Even if Peters sometimes forgets where he is.

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