Niang Sees Benefits of Big Man Skills Academy
AMES, Iowa – It wasn’t all new to Georges Niang. That is a credit to his coach, Fred Hoiberg.
Niang, who recently returned from the Nike Big Man Skills Academy, said the experience was invaluable, but because of playing for Hoiberg he was accustomed to many of the things they were teaching.
The junior took the time to hone his skills and learn from NBA players DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. Because the academy was paired with the point guard camp, Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams and Kyrie Irving were also in attendance. Former NBA player and coach John Lucas III also worked the camp.
“A lot of what we learned was the stuff that Coach Hoiberg goes over with us,” Niang said. “They really preached spacing. With the NBA style that we run here it wasn’t brand new to me, but I picked up some stuff while understanding the concepts they were trying to explain to us.”
For Niang, getting a first-hand glimpse of the effort put in by professional players is something that stuck with him.
“How hard the professionals work was eye-opening,” Niang said. “I think guys take for granted being in college and a lot think they can just throw their names in and get drafted. As we saw last night that just isn’t how it is. If you are in college and you aren’t working that hard, that just doesn’t make any sense because there are pros out there that have made it and are working really hard.”
The campers also got a chance to run with the pros.
“We played against those guys a bit,” Niang said. “I scored on Cousins. Once. Those guys are pretty good. Definitely pros for a reason, you can see that.”
The camp gave Niang an opportunity to test the foot he injured in the NCAA Tournament against the players he’ll see next season.
“My foot feels great,” Niang said. “It isn’t even on my mind anymore.”
Niang and his teammates continue to play in the YMCA Capital City League in Des Moines. For a complete schedule, click here.