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Usman Garuba hopes to have more significant role in NBA than the one he had in Real Madrid

Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

Usman Garuba will be making his NBA debut this season, after the Houston Rockets selected the versatile big man in the 2021 NBA Draft.

The former Real Madrid promising big hopes to improve his ball handling, something that he couldn’t do in a competitive environment in Madrid.

“Having the ball in my hands more time and those kinds of things that I could not do in Madrid, where I have had to adapt to a role due to the type of players there are [on Real Madrid]. In general, to be able to do more and more things,” Garuba said in an interview with Marca (hat tip to Eurohoops).

The Rockets’ young star won the EuroLeague Rising Star award, largely due to his performances in the competition’s quarterfinals vs. Anadolu Efes, who won the title in Cologne’s Final-4.

“I’m on a team that is undergoing ‘reconstruction,’ with many young players who are going to give a lot of prominence,” Garuba said on the Rockets‘ current state. “To go day by day, working and improving many aspects that I wasn’t able to do these years due to the demands of Real Madrid, which is normal,” Garuba said on his goal.

Garuba, 21, went on to average 3.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per 16 minutes in the 2020-21 EuroLeague.

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