The Miami Heat played a role in the United States Olympic team losing its first exhibition game this summer.
Heat players Gabe Vincent, KZ Okpala and Precious Achiuwa all had solid games in Nigeria's upset of the United States last week. Vincent led the way with 21 points.
“It was everything we expected,” said Vincent, who was on a two-way contract with the Heat last season. “We knew we could compete. We knew we could play well against a great team, and we showed that.”
Here's what Nigeria coach Mike Brown had to say about the Heat's players on the team.
On KZ Okpala:
“KZ is a remarkable talent,” Brown said. “This is a young man that, in my opinion, he has a chance to be, obviously, an elite defender. And these are high expectations, but the short time I’ve had him, he could be a Defensive Player of the Year type candidate once he figures some things out to get consistent minutes on the floor. “His length, his athleticism, his size, his strength, his work to play defense and be great at it is off the charts. I’ve been around some very good defenders, starting with Bruce Bowen and Ben Wallace, even a guy like Ira Newble. But KZ, I’m excited that he’s here.”
On Precious Achiuwa:
“He’s so talented,” Brown said, “and he has so much ability and you couple that with his passion, his athleticism and how hard he plays, once, as a young guy, he figures it out to be able to sustain that level of hard play every single possession, he’s going to be a monster in the NBA.”
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