Though they are not yet in the United States, Houston Rockets top executive Rafael Stone is enjoying what he sees on the offseason progress of both Alperen Sengun and Usman Garuba.
“Our guys have really been in the gym. They’ve been working really hard,” Stone said, via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “Even the guys that haven’t been here, which is Alperen and Usman, have done great overseas. So, it’s been a good summer.”
Sengun and Garuba, two of the Rockets’ first-round selections in last year’s NBA Draft, have shown promising flashes of serving their respective home soil in this 2022 EuroBasket.
The 19-year-old Sengun has flirted with special capabilities at the center spot for the Turkish national team. Already penciled to start at the given position for the Rockets next season, he provided a major inside presence to boost his nation into a Top-16 finish.
On the other hand, the defensive specialist Garuba is gaining much needed major exposure under the leadership of Sergio Scariolo, wherein he served as an x-factor in upsetting Lithuania to push Spain in advancing to the quarterfinal bracket of the tournament.
As such, Stone believes that his two young talents are continuing to develop, which will truly provide the franchise a brighter future in the long run.
“I think both of them have gotten better game-by-game-by-game, and that’s rewarding,” Stone said. “Some of the stuff we’ve asked them to work on, they’ve worked on, and in real time, you can see some of the results.”
Like other teams in the league, the Rockets are set to commence their training camp this September. With that, both Sengun and Garuba’s growth and experience in the ongoing international stage will be observed and tested.