Photo Credit: Fernando Medina
“Don’t let your goals go away.”
That’s one of the pieces of advice that Zach Auguste’s father, a former semi-pro soccer player, tells his son about being a professional athlete.
It seems as though Auguste has taken that to heart.
After a much-heralded career at Notre Dame in which he led the Fighting Irish to the Elite Eight in back-to-back seasons, the 6-foot-10 big man went undrafted and played for Muratbey Uşak Sportif of the Turkish Basketball Super League in 2016-17.
“I think it was something I needed, especially coming fresh out of college,” Auguste said. “It gave me a chance to play as a rookie, a lot of minutes, [and] play against great competition.”
More recently, Auguste has brought energy and effort throughout Summer League play thus far. When given more playing time in Orlando, he seized the opportunity and showed what he could do on the break. He’s carried that over into Vegas, too.
“It’s something that I’ve been working on obviously, but I think there’s a lot of parts of my game that might be underrated at the moment,” Auguste said. “I’m just here to try to expose them and put in work.”
There’s no better way to put in work than fighting on the offensive glass and giving your team second-chance opportunities like this.
In Orlando, Auguste averaged 7.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.00 steals on 58.8 percent shooting in 17.7 minutes per game. He then followed that up with a 17-point, nine-rebound performance against the Spurs on his 24th birthday for the HEAT’s first Summer League win of 2017.
“It was a blessing to be able to get those minutes,” Auguste said. “[It was] a great experience obviously getting to play against one of my former high school teammates Olivier Hanlan as well, but I couldn’t ask for a better birthday, man. Do what I love best.”
With the new CBA implementing two-way contracts between teams and the G-League, the 24-year-old might be able to do what he loves best in the NBA sooner rather than later.
“I think that’s a great opportunity now to have some guys that maybe [were] overlooked in the past get a chance to play now,” Auguste said.
As long as Auguste keeps up his sharp play and continues to take his father’s advice, there’s a good chance he won’t be overlooked for much longer.