November 18, 2020
Bristol, Connecticut, USA
Q. Why don't you start out with a few opening remarks about what you'll bring to the Heat.
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: First I want to thank God. I want to thank God for putting me in this type of position where I'm playing for a great organization and able to represent not just myself but where I'm from, my whole country behind me, my whole city.
And to play for an organization like the Heat is going to be amazing. I can't wait to be able to get out there and compete with the rest of my teammates.
Q. Precious, the Miami Heat play with a very strong culture, what they call the Miami Heat culture, gritty, strong basketball. How do you fit into the Heat system that requires this aggressiveness in their game?
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: I'm a really, really competitive kind of player. I'm aggressive, too. I like to play really aggressive. I'm gritty, too, like you said. That's what I'm about, being out there doing whatever it takes to win ballgames, and just that aggressiveness, that grittiness and just everything that it takes to win a basketball game.
Q. Just wanted your thoughts on if you watched the NBA Finals, and from what you saw, what can you bring to Miami in the hopes of them getting better overall?
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: Yeah, of course. I watched the NBA Finals, and thankful they're welcoming me to Miami. I think I can add a lot to the table, like add a lot of aggression and grittiness to the table and be that support for them inside.
Q. What has Coach [Penny] Hardaway taught you to prepare you for this moment?
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: Just really being able to adjust. I actually just got off the phone with him. He was talking about the Miami culture as far as encouraging me to keep that attitude of being able to adjust to situations and always working hard.
Q. I'm curious, did you have any indication before tonight that this was going to be where you ended up, or did you kind of find out in real time almost like the rest of us?
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: I found out in real time. My hope was to end up in a great organization, and thank God my prayers got answered and I'm part of a great organization.
Q. It's been eight years since a Memphis Tiger has been drafted. You and James going tonight, how does that feel to be a part of that legacy?
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: I mean, it's just amazing being able to continue that legacy. Obviously Memphis is a great city, I love that city, and just being able to have my name and be part of that city and that organization is a pleasure.
Q. Can I follow up on what you were asked about Coach Hardaway, the system he put in. Do you feel there's some similarities to the way the NBA plays and how in terms of mental discipline -- also talk about that, what Coach talked to you about.
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: Yeah, Coach Hardaway has always been big on defense and aggressiveness and just doing the little things to win the game. Compared to the Miami organization, it's pretty much the same things expected of everyone.
And being able to be a part of Penny Hardaway's program, I think it's going to be a lot easier for me to be able to adjust to the next level.
Q. Penny was so close to winning a championship. Did he talk to you about taking advantage of this opportunity and making the most of it?
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: Yeah, of course. He's always encouraging me and just telling me just keep working and believing.
Q. What was your reaction when you got the call? Just kind of take us through your emotions when you found out that you were going to be taken at 20, and also, what has been the reaction of your former Memphis teammates?
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: My teammates have been calling me, blowing up my phone since my name got called, and that just goes to show you that I had guys on the team that we really cared about each other, and me being able to be a part of that program and be teammates with those guys is a blessing.
Q. With your Heat workout, what stood out from that workout? What were your takeaways from that workout, and did you kind of leave there thinking, if I'm there at 20, they're probably going to take me?
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: Every workout I give it my all, try to do the best of my ability. After the workout I felt like I put myself in a position to be considered by the Miami Heat.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports