As rookie forward Nikola Jovic seeks to make his mark with the Miami Heat, his efforts to reach the NBA have meant that he hasn’t yet graduated from high school.
Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald looked at the performances of Jovic and Jamal Cain, while noting that getting prepared for this past June’s NBA Draft took precedence over Jovic’s studies.
“Yes, the 6-10 Jovic is an NBA player who has not graduated high school yet. He’s one exam away from getting it done,” Chiang wrote.
“Jovic was scheduled to graduate high school earlier this year, but predraft workouts took up too much of his time to make that a reality. The time difference back home in Serbia while Jovic was preparing for the draft in the United States made the logistics even tougher.
“‘My mom, she didn’t look at it like that,’ Jovic said. ‘She wanted me to finish school. But I was like, ‘Mom!’
“The plan is for Jovic to take the exam ‘probably soon.’
“‘As soon as I have a little me time, I’ll do it,’ Jovic said. ‘As soon as I get in contact with my teachers and stuff, because like I said, the time difference is really [big].'”
Long-distance learning has become much easier with technology such as Zoom. That, coupled with the limited amount of work that Jovic needs to complete, should help make it easier for the rookie to earn his diploma
Jovic only turned 19 in June and was taken by the Heat with the 27th overall pick in this year’s draft later in that month. The current strength of the Heat roster offers him the luxury of being able to improve without high-pressure expectations being attached to him.
The fact that the Heat have developed a solid reputation when it comes to getting the most out of their talent offers promise when it comes to Jovic.
On Thursday night against the Brooklyn Nets, Jovic saw 16 minutes of action. During that time, he scored 10 points, dished out five assists, grabbed three rebounds and collected two steals.
The Heat coasted to an easy 109-80 win over the Nets, though the results of one preseason game aren’t likely to be remembered in the weeks ahead. How much time Jovic sees remains uncertain, with the Heat obviously focused more on winning than player development concerns.
Getting a quality player with a late pick in the first round is a challenge for any NBA team. The Heat may end up waiting a few years for Jovic to truly have an impact but are getting positive vibes with the regular season on the horizon.