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Precious Achiuwa gets right to work as Heat’s top draft pick

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2020, file photo, Memphis forward Precious Achiuwa (55) grabs a rebound against South Florida during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tampa, Fla. Achiuwa was selected by the Miami Heat in the NBA draft Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2020, file photo, Memphis forward Precious Achiuwa (55) grabs a rebound against South Florida during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tampa, Fla. Achiuwa was selected by the Miami Heat in the NBA draft Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – It didn’t long for the Miami Heat’s first-round draft pick to get to work.

Precious Achiuwa was taken No. 20 in the NBA draft by the Heat.

The former Memphis forward said the next day he received a call from the Heat’s Tyler Herro.

Achiuwa said, “He called me as soon as I got out here. He reached out to me. We’ve just been talking and have to get in the gym... Getting better, getting a better feel for each other. Just something that we’re going to do together for a long time, so why not start up early?”

Achiuwa said that his game is based on energy and doing all the little things that it takes to win basketball games.

During the NBA Playoffs, Achiuwa found himself cheering for the Heat.

Achiuwa said, “It wasn’t something that I thought about. It’s just crazy.. I’m a basketball fan. I love to play basketball, I love to watch basketball. I love to watch winning basketball. I love to watch when people hard, when people play together, when people play to win. That’s been the Heat’s basketball. During the Playoffs, I watched every game in the bubble... I just enjoyed watching when the Heat played. It was winning basketball. Everyone was locked in in the moment. Everyone had the same goal... five guys doing something in sync.”

Achiuwa said the Heat played beautiful team basketball and that’s what inspired him to enjoy them.

The rookie said that he’s an energy player who does whatever it takes to win games. So, he’s less concerned with what position he’d play and more interested in helping the team win.

In terms of Bam Adebayo, Achiuwa said, “I just look forward to asking him a lot of questions, continuing to learn from him every day. Whatever questions I have in that role, that position, I’m sure he’s been through... It’s just learning from him and off the court it’s all basketball. It’s just asking him a lot of questions and trying to learn from him.”

Achiuwa said he’s gone through a lot of NBA training and worked out with a lot of NBA guys previously, and so working out with Tyler Herro wasn’t different.

Achiuwa said that at Memphis they ran an NBA-style offense.

However, Achiuwa said that Herro was able to help him out with some of the NBA terminology.

In terms of living in Miami, “So many things you can do and you don’t have to travel to get to it... Miami is so diverse in a small, little space. Just being able to reach people from different places, backgrounds... The basketball culture around here how everybody embraces the Heat program, it’s just amazing to me.”


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