After a solid showing in Summer League, Miami Heat rookie Omer Yurtseven is still learning the ropes this season.
But his veteran teammates have been helping him out in different ways. He recently explained how they have been leading and mentoring him, especially now that he is getting more minutes on the court.
“On the court, especially, they lead you so precisely,” Yurtseven said. “[Kyle] Lowry and P.J. [Tucker] have been so vocal, especially with the other veterans being out. And OG (Udonis Haslem), he has been on me since I came here. But he intensified when Bam hurt his finger and I had to step into the role as a backup five. His mentorship has been incredibly helpful. Even going through the drills, him crashing the glass and me working on my box outs, he’s still wiry. It’s amazing for his age.”
The Heat have been ravaged by injuries lately, which has paved the way for Yurtseven to have increased playing time. With Bam Adebayo out, the Turkish big man has been serving as the team’s backup center.
Yurtseven grabbed a career-high 12 boards in Miami’s Friday match against the Orlando Magic. He raved about how Haslem and Tucker have been instrumental in his improving ability to rebound the ball.
“[Haslem] has been in my ear as long as I’ve been here,” Yurtseven said. “He has been helping out with the rebounds, with the box outs, with everything. These games, they’re tough and they’re physical. When you take the contact of that physicality to them is when you win and when you initiate it is when you win. That’s another thing that I kind of picked up from P.J. These are growing moments and I think there’s a lot to learn and that’s what I’ll do and that’s what we’ll do.”
Even though he looks like he has a bright future ahead of him, Yurtseven is showing that he can already contribute to a Heat team that is looking to contend in the playoffs this 2021-22 campaign.