Atlanta Hawks rookie Onyeka Okongwu has impressed all comers since he made his debut. He has shown a willingness to work. In fact, despite only playing 32 minutes prior to the Milwaukee Bucks game, he was entrusted with the start due to Clint Capela being out with an injured hand.
It was not as though the Hawks didn’t have options, they could have started John Collins at the pivot with Danilo Gallinari at the power forward position. However, coach Lloyd Pierce had enough belief in his defensive ability to award him the start.
By all accounts, Okongwu is an incredibly hard worker who tries to soak up all the information provided to him. This is a tremendous quality for a rookie to possess. He had enough talent to be taken with the sixth pick in the 2020 draft so combining these two attributes and you have a long-term prospect.
Atlanta Hawks rookie Onyeka Okongwu is speaking it into existence
When I say it, I mean he is speaking about his attitude. He was due to play the Phoenix Suns but that game was canceled. Okongwu took to social media to express his displeasure at not being able to debut
Then the day after the Bucks loss, Okongwu posted this gem.
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Okongwu is not getting much court time, he is lucky to get 20 minutes of court time on his best night. He does, however, understand that he needs to work hard to get what he wants. That is the attitude that is going to help this franchise win in the long term.
The process is all about getting better and if Okongwu is falling in love with this then this can only bode well for the franchise in the future. Okongwu’s work ethic fits in well with the rest of the young core and that is going to make the Hawks a dangerous franchise in the future.
If Clint Capela is out for his second straight game with his hand injury, Okongwu will get his second start. He will have learned from his mistakes against the Bucks and will be better off for the run.