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Simi Shittu

Simi Shittu

Simi Shittu was among the top players in the G League bubble last season.

He averaged 14.5 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Westchester Knicks. Shittu did so while playing with one of his best friends, Ignas Brazdeikis.

Below, Shittu talks about the G League season and looks ahead the offseason:

SNY: You put up great numbers with Westchester this year. How was your experience with the team?

SHITTU: “It was a great experience. Especially learning from former NBA players like coach Aaron Brooks, coach Derrick Alston and Jaren Jackson Sr. within the limited time we had was incredible. Also playing alongside a very talented group with players like Louis King, Ignas Brazdeikis, Jared Harper, and Myles Powell to name a few. It was valuable being able to see where I’m at in terms of all the hard work I put in the offseason and how that translated into this past season in the bubble. I felt like I was able to really separate myself from the pack as being one of the youngest players in the G League again as well.”

SNY: What was it like being in the G League bubble?

SHITTU: “The bubble was fun. Always being around the team and building chemistry daily on and off the court was something I know we were all thankful for. I was especially grateful for the opportunity to be in the bubble as the more time we spent together the further we were able to develop more both as individuals but, more importantly, as a team. The league did a good job at giving teams court time to get extra work in as well as the opportunity to spend some time in the weight room. They had a great setup in the weight room which allowed us to stay in shape and prevent injuries. Being able to play with one of my best friends Ignas was a surreal experience. We grew up together so playing in the league and being able to dominate as we did was just like it was in AAU.”

SNY: Your scoring and rebounding increased significantly this season. What allowed you to increase your numbers?

SHITTU: “I’d say all the hard work I put in the offseason was what really allowed my numbers to increase as they did. However, I’d say just the opportunity to be in the bubble in general also was a contributing factor because even last year when I played for Windy City, when given the opportunity, I was able to put up similar or bigger numbers. I also saw my potential to put up those types of numbers in the preseason while playing this past year for the Bulls and helping them come back from a 20 point deficit against OKC. I’d like to say thank you again to Westchester for giving me the opportunity to showcase more of my skills and my improvements as well.”

SNY: What are your plans for the offseason?

SHITTU: “Continue to get better and elevate my game. Prepare For summer league. I’ll be training in multiple states with my agency and some players.”

SNY: What are your goals for next season?

SHITTU: “Winning games and establishing myself in the NBA.”

SNY: What do you think you can bring to an NBA team?

“I’m a player that’s going to come and work everyday. A player that will only improve and continue to show improvements year in and year out.

“I know I bring a lot due to my versatility. My game is very adjustable in different systems. I can guard ball screens and switch on to wings and guards at a high level. Rebound on both ends at a high level and I can create for others and myself — with or without the ball — and then score inside. I’m unselfish and I’m a two way player and will come in and do the little things whether it’s get 50/50s, charges, steals, block shots. etc.”

SNY: Some of the Knicks’ G League players got NBA contracts at the end of the season. Did you expect to get a chance with the Knicks?

SHITTU: “You can never expect anything in this league or in life in general. God’s timing is different than ours, with any team I feel like I could’ve got an opportunity and made an impact but I’m happy for my guys that got their opportunity and contracts. I know my time is coming very soon and I just am continuing to work so I’m prepared for my opportunities because that’s what the league is all about.”

Shittu will likely play in NBA Summer League after his strong season in Westchester.

His agent, Colin Bryant of FSM sports, is confident that Shittu will thrive in his next setting.

“The future is incredibly bright for Simi and he is 100 percent focused on taking full advantage of his next NBA opportunity,” Bryant said. “His energy is contagious and he’ll bring a tremendous upside to any team he’s a part of.”