Mason, Jr., Vasquez Headline Monday’s Workouts

MIAMI, 06/7 – The Miami HEAT resumed its pre-draft workouts, as the team continues to prepare for the  upcoming NBA Draft. On Monday, six more players auditioned in front of HEAT personnel, highlighted by Anthony Mason, Jr., son of former HEAT All-Star Anthony Mason, and ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez. 

Mason, Jr., whose father was coached by Pat Riley with the New York Knicks and HEAT, said it was good to get reacquainted with the Hall of Fame coach. 

“When Pat Riley saw me, he said ‘What’s up, Lil’ Mase?',” he said. “It was real fun, especially when Mr. Riley walked in because I haven’t seen him since I was young. It was good times.”

The senior Mason became the third HEAT All-Star during the 2000-01 season, his lone in Miami. He helped the HEAT to a 50-32 record, despite Alonzo Mourning being held to just 13 games due to kidney transplant surgery.  

Mason, Jr. did admit that his father gave him insight on what to expect from a Pat Riley-led organization. 

“He told me he’s going to work you hard, so you have to go out and work hard and leave it all out on the court,” said the 6-6 forward. 

He also said that his father raves about his brief stint with the HEAT.

“He just loved it down here because it was the best shape of his life,” he said. “I was speaking to one of the trainers today. When he came in he was 285. He left a 265-pound All-Star.”

Mason, Jr. spent five seasons at St John’s University . He earned a medical redshirt after being limited to three games during the 2008-09 season with a torn peroneal tendon in his right foot. His surgery and recovery was chronicled on MTV’s True Life reality series last year.

He said he now embraces the extra year in college.

“I believe those five years helped me develop into a man," he said. "I got a chance to graduate from college and become more responsible as a person, become an adult. Entering into this league, you need that.” 

Vasquez, the 6-6 combo guard from  the University of Maryland, also worked out for the HEAT on Monday. The Venezuelan-born player said it would be a dream come true to earn a roster next season. 

“This is a great fit for me both on the court and in the community - with its large Hispanic presence." 

Vasquez played for the Venezuelan National team at the 2007 and 2009 FIBA Americas Tournaments. He spoke no English when he arrived in the US as a high school student. 

The other players to attend Monday’s workout: James Dews (Miami); Mikhail Torrance (Alabama); Keith Gallon (Oklahoma); and Devon Chism (Tennessee).