Rockets rookie Alperen Sengun plans to work with Hakeem Olajuwon on footwork

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Fresh off a career night with 19 points and 11 rebounds, rookie center Alperen Sengun wants to do even more in Houston. One way to do that is with the help of legendary Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon.

In a new interview with The Athletic, Rockets beat writer Kelly Iko writes that Sengun’s “eyes light up” when he speaks about potentially working with the Hall of Famer, who has become known as a footwork guru.

Sengun, who was taken at No. 16 overall in the first round of the 2021 NBA draft, tells Iko about his desire to work with “The Dream”:

I was working in a young team in Turkey. I was watching a lot. When I watch, I learn quickly, and it also helps me a lot. But also I’d like to work with Hakeem Olajuwon about this. We will work in the future. He said, ‘I’ll teach you some moves.’ It’s good for me, I’m waiting.

Since retiring in 2002, Olajuwon has helped mentor numerous NBA players regarding post moves and footwork, including big names like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Dwight Howard.

Entering Thursday, Sengun has clearly taken on more minutes and responsibility as the 2021-22 NBA season has progressed. Over his last seven games, the 19-year-old big man is averaging 12.7 points (51.7% FG), 5.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 20.1 minutes.

Among his many on-court attributes, it is Sengun’s post moves and court vision that have led many fans to view him as a star in the making, and working with Olajuwon should only expedite his development.

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