Warriors top draft pick James Wiseman is more than ready to get his start with Golden State. A photo of him posing with Steph Curry in 2018 at SC30 Select Camp shows it was pretty much written in the stars.
But how did he get here? Well, his brief college experience was a unique one.
Wiseman learned from the best during his short time at Memphis playing under NBA legend Penny Hardaway, who played 15 seasons in the NBA. The head coach told him to pay attention to how another superstar, Shaq, used to play.
“Just like in terms of running the floor like how big Shaq was, how fast he was, I actually watched a lot of film in college on Shaq,” Wiseman told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Grant Liffmann.
Wiseman said that Hardaway, a four-time NBA All-Star, would sit with him and break down film of what Shaq was doing on the court.
Hardaway played with Shaq with the Orlando Magic for three seasons.
The size alone is comparative to the larger than life player. Wiseman stands at 7-foot-1 with an insane 7-foot-6 wingspan and has a 9-foot-six standing reach -- among NBA’s best.
Wiseman averaged 19.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in just three games last season at Memphis.
Defensively, Wiseman is strong and has the ability to protect the rim and recover out on shooters.
While Shaq was known for his large size and ability to overpower defenders, his speed, especially at a young age, also made him stand out. So if there’s anyone to learn from and mirror some of your game after, might as well have it be a Hall of Famer who is one of the best players of all time.
Wiseman also added that he's been hard at work in the gym, focusing on his shot and his perimeter defense.
“I’ve been working on my game for the past 11 months, just working on my jump shot, my jump shot got way more consistent," Wiseman added. "In terms of the defensive end, I’ve been switching off guards in practice all the time. I’ve been guarding them a lot, so I mean, I’m gonna just prove it. Simple as that.”