MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In less than two months, the University of Memphis will see two of its former athletes get the call to make millions of dollars in the NBA.
James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa will both go in the first round. Both in the lottery.
While the 7-foot Wiseman is expected to be a top 5 pick, Achiuwa is expected to go a little later.
His path to the pros is a little different than Wiseman’s. Born of hard work, circumstance and perseverance, not to mention natural ability, the 6′9″, 225 pounder burst on the Tigers scene as a McDonald’s All American slated to play next to Wiseman in the Memphis Middle.
But, when Wiseman left after just three games due to disagreement over NCAA suspension, Achiuwa was left to shoulder the load.
He did, earning American Athletic Conference Freshman and Player of the Year honors along the way.
Achiuwa says he owes it to working with Tigers Head Coach Penny Hardaway in helping him mature, not only as a player, but as a person.
“A lot of things. How to approach the game, carry yourself," he said. "How to be a pro. I really don’t know where to start or where to finish. I really learned a lot of things from my time at Memphis.”
Achiuwa, who’s from New York by way of Nigeria, says it would be a blessing if the Knicks picked him.
The NBA Draft is Nov. 18.