Miami Heat star player welcome a new baby

Miami Heat star player welcome a new baby

Under Mike Woodson, the former Indiana basketball center Kel’el Ware was selected in the second round of the NBA Draft. According to Woodson, Ware “couldn’t have picked a better organization than Miami.”

The Miami Heat chose 7-foot center Kel’el Ware, a former Indiana center, 15th overall last week, making him the Hoosiers’ second first-round pick in the NBA Draft under Mike Woodson. Ever since, Woodson, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, and a number of Heat executives have joined Ware in Miami for his inaugural press conference that took place last Friday.

Last week, Woodson had a quick conversation with the Miami media contingent to discuss Ware’s progress at Indiana, his suitability for the Heat, and his areas of improvement before he starts playing in the NBA.

“I told him: ‘You come in with a great attitude, you put in the work, you’re coachable, you’re in a great organization with (Heat president) Pat (Riley) at the top and Micky (Arison) owning the team and then Spo coaching, the sky is the limit for you,'” said Woodson. “His aptitude is present. I simply believe that he needs to grow a little taller and learn how to play in the NBA.”

Prior to the draft, Ware’s draft projections were all over the place, so many were taken aback when Miami chose him with the fifteenth choice. Woodson, though, expressed his belief that Ware has discovered the ideal organization to grow and learn from.

“He’s got to get a little more weight on him, I think, for the NBA and the day-to-day grind that they have,” Woodson said. However, his skill set is present. He can make threes, but he needs to practice and become more proficient at it. But in my opinion, there are no limits. What Spo requires is the manner he coaches and motivates players to perform at a high level. Miami is the best organization he could have chosen.”

In his lone season at Indiana, Ware averaged a team-high 15.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game, earning him a spot on the second team of the Big Ten. Along with D.J. White and Jackson-Davis, the 7-footer became just the third Hoosier in the previous 25 seasons to average at least 15.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in a single season. Ware also made 42.5 percent of his shots from three-point range and 58.6 percent from the field.

Along with Golden State Warriors center Trayce Jackson-Davis and Los Angeles Lakers guard Jalen Hood-Schifino, Ware is Indiana’s third NBA Draft selection in the previous two years. Alongside Hoosier icons Walt Bellamy, Kent Benson, Scott May, Isiah Thomas, Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Eric Gordon, Calbert Cheaney, Quinn Buckner, Mike Woodson, Jared Jeffries, and several others, the North Little Rock, Arkansas native is the 28th former IU player to be selected in the first round.

At Oregon, where he started his career, Ware averaged 15.8 minutes per game, 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks. Despite playing in every one of the Ducks’ 35 games as a rookie, Ware’s minutes and role steadily declined as the season went on. Following the 2022–2023 season, Ware used the transfer portal before deciding to enroll at Indiana.

Concerns about Ware’s effort and motor while at Oregon were allayed by his output and value to the Hoosiers once he arrived in Indiana. Throughout the year, Ware had a number of memorable games. Against Harvard, he scored a career-high 28 points and pulled down eight rebounds; against Rutgers, he scored 13 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds; against Wisconsin, he scored 27 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and made a career-high five blocks, among other memorable games.

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