HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The professional basketball career of former University of Hawaii forward Stefan Jankovic got off to an impressive start on Saturday in the first game of the NBA's Orlando Summer League.
Jankovic, making his debut with the Miami Heat, scored 17 points in 19 minutes off the bench against the Los Angeles Clippers. His 70% (7-for-10) shooting clip was the game's highest.
"It's different it's a lot harder than college I'll be honest." said Jankovic after the game. "It's definitely more up tempo...You're playing against grown men now, professionals and stuff. So, you have to up your game. It's a lot more physical in every aspect. It's one up on college."
Only Miami forward Justise Winslow, a starter for the team as a rookie last season, was more productive, scoring a game-high 21 points.
Jankovic's production prompted the game's announcers, including play-by-play announcer Rick Kamla, to remark on his performance.
"This is one of those guys... I've never heard of Stefan Jankovic," said Kamla. "But he's definitely opened my eyes. He's a solid player."
Despite his an impressive performance, Jankovic says he definitely has room to improve. The first step to doing that, according to him, is building confidence.
"Honestly, I was super nervous and I feel like you can kind of see it in the first half" said Jankovic. "I made shots, which, that's my game. I can shoot the ball. But...I watched some of the clips and I was very, very nervous. I mean, it's my first summer league. It's a big big stage for me. Even in college I got nervous. So, you can imagine, this is NBA with executives all over the gym."
Jankovic and the Heat play the New York Knicks on Sunday at 9 a.m. Hawaii time.