Sometimes a connection just works.
After four years of a strong relationship, the Miami HEAT and Sioux Falls Skyforce entered a single affiliation partnership in June of 2013.
And ever since then, the HEAT have used their G League affiliate as well as any other franchise and have developed players within their system and culture.
While Derrick Jones Jr. has made a seamless transition to Summer League thanks to his time with the Skyforce (and the HEAT), Ike Nwamu is another intriguing guy with experience in Sioux Falls.
Nwamu, a burly 6-foot-5, 210-pound guard out of UNLV, really blossomed in his second season with the Skyforce and averaged career highs across the board.
“During my first season I learned what it took to work on the pro level, so I took those habits and I just kept them with me every day,” Nwamu said. “It’s part of the HEAT culture, so that really took me to the next level.”
In particular, the 25-year-old Nwamu credited Anthony Carter for his big leap from year one to year two and referred to him as his mentor. Now that he’s been around the HEAT coaches more in Summer League, Nwamu has seen similarities between the two franchises.
Those similarities go beyond the system and also translate on the court. Although Nwamu certainly fits the mold as a “3-and-D” prospect, he brings more to the table.
“[I think an underrated part of my game is] just my ability to get in the paint,” Nwamu said. “I’m explosive and I’m a bigger guard, so I’m able to get in the paint and take contact and either finish or kick it out.”
We saw that strength up close and personal in the HEAT’s victory over the Jazz on Tuesday, as Nwamu scored 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting and came through with this tough and-one finish:
As long as he continues to put in the work under the tutelage of Carter and the rest of the Skyforce coaching staff, Nwamu has a good shot at making some noise in the league sooner rather than later.