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Oscar Tshiebwe discusses his early time with the Indiana Pacers, his rebounding skills, and background

Tshiebwe discussed many topics on the Locked On Pacers podcast

In a recent appearance on the Locked On Pacers podcast, Indiana Pacers center Oscar Tshiebwe went in depth on several topics, including his journey to the NBA, his early time with the team, and his rebounding abilities.

Tshiebwe signed a two-way contract with the Pacers in early July, meaning he will split time between the Pacers and their G League affiliate team, the Mad Ants, this coming season. He averaged 16.5 points per game in his final collegiate season.

"NBA life is great. NBA life is good," Tshiebwe said on the podcast. "Different level. I had a good time in Summer League. I'm learning a lot. This level, you've... got to be responsible."

Tshiebwe shared that he is happy to be close to Lexington with the Pacers. It's a short drive between Indianapolis and the Kentucky city where Tshiebwe played in college. He views Lexington as a second home.

Now, he's just three hours away with his new team. That proximity was attractive to Tshiebwe when picking his home after going undrafted, among many reasons.

He liked the Pacers growing up and had an affinity for Paul George, the now-Clippers forward. The wing was a three-time All-Star with Indiana.

Tshiebwe started watching George when he got into basketball in 2015. "Paul George was going crazy in Indiana," he said. Those factors all helped get Tshiebwe to Indiana after the draft, which he watched alongside his family, friends, and agent.

He wasn't confident he was going to be drafted, but he did think he would end up on a team. Fortunately, it was a situation he liked.

"I believed wherever God would send me, I would be happy. I would just show people and work hard and prove people... I gotta show them that I can do it," Tshiebwe said.

In Las Vegas Summer League, the center averaged 6.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in just over 13 minutes of action per night. He dominated the boards, his most NBA-ready skill.

"To be a good rebounder, the first thing is gifts from God. Another thing is effort," Tshiebwe said. He was a Naismith Player of the Year in college thanks in part to his rebounding.

The big man shared that he wasn't really into basketball in his younger years. He was a soccer goalie, and that made him solid with his hands. But as he grew taller, he was pushed to play basketball by his family, and that led to him to a basketball camp in Congo.

There, he met NBA center Bismack Biyombo. That relationship was crucial for Tshiebwe. Biyombo helped him get to the United States, and the ex-Phoenix Suns center was a mentor during the pre-draft process.

"[We] keep up really good. He helped me a lot through this draft process. Was telling me what I should do, stay strong," Tshiebwe said of Biyombo.

Tshiebwe also discussed playing against Pacers All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton in college, his pre-draft workout with Indiana, and skills he is hoping to improve. The full interview can be listened to here.

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