As a kid, his parents and brother already knew he was good and it was inevitable that he was going to play perhaps in a Euroleague at best but they never imagined he would be that good and than within the last couple of years it all changed. Without a doubt the tools, such as English classes, provided by his family where meant to ease the way for this future player. “You’ve got to learn it. Even if you play in Europe, there’s going to be a couple of Americans on every team. Probably the coach in practice, he’s going to speak in English. It’s going to just make your life easier. That was the reason. We just didn’t know how he was going to turn out.”

With a slight accent Kristaps Porzingis now fluent in English played for the ACB, (Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto), in Spain, considered the second-best league in the world, further more, Kyle Lowry, American professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association, was saying that he wouldn’t show up unless Porzingis was on his team, making Porzingis the most prepared player for the NBA.

It goes without saying that others have had experiences such as the Olympic or world championships giving them an edge in scouting opportunities, no matter how good Porzingis is with the ball but what is indisputable is that no one comes from a background of leaving his family 5 years ago to play in Spain and having encountered such competition.

The truth of the mater is, this has been years of planning paying off, literally years. Porzingis’ parents paid for extra English lessons as he approached the teenage years, and because he showed such great talent in basketball, all efforts where put into him for a stronger and brighter international future.

NBA people are well aware of this young 7-foot-1 pupil becoming the top offensive prospect making him a lethal offensive weapon with range out to the three-point line blended with the capacity to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim.

And what about his personality, he has handled all the attention with such ease and serenity demonstrating the world he his just a fun and chatty guy, “not a stiff European who doesn’t know English. A lot of people say, ‘You’re an American, just like everybody else.’ That’s what I want people to know about me. I’m just a regular guy. Not any different from other people.”

Some compare him to Dirk Nowitzki for his size and the shooting range or to Pau Gasol for the thinner body and the Spain connection. And there is the additional connection that Porzingis’ first coach in the ACB, Aito Garcia Reneses, used to coach Gasol and spent many hours with Porzingis noting the similarities.

If you ask Kristaps about what excites him the most as a future NBA player, he will answer you, “What I’m excited about is I’m going to have access to the gym whenever I want. I can go at night. I don’t know how it works. They told me I’ll have a key or a card and you can get in the gym any time. I think that’s an amazing thing. You don’t have that in Europe. I’m very excited for that actually.”

There has been an episode, not to long ago, where he shot his arm into submission, he actually spent time and time again throwing 1,000 to 1,500 attempts nonstop with Janis, his brother, from mid range to close basket to behind arc to a point where he couldn’t feel his right arm and the muscles went raw.

“He’s so focused on the court,” Joe Abunassar, Impact’s co-founder, said, noting the contrast to Porzingis as easy going off the floor. “It’s a very business-like approach to his training where every minute he’s very, very focused on everything he’s doing. The detail in his workouts are excellent. We have guys we have to continually motivate throughout the workouts. With Kris, he’ll go two hours without us saying a word. We’re just telling him what to do. We never have to say, ‘Go harder.’ It’s just correcting the technical parts of his game. His work ethic inside the gym with the doors closed is impressive and his mood on the court is serious.”

Porzingis is days away from learning his team. He is very close. He is very prepared.

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