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About 13 miles from FTX Arena, inside the Columbus High School basketball gym, coach Andrew Moran spent two months working with NBA draft prospects leading up to one of the biggest moments of their lives.

Among the group of hopefuls was Nikola Jovic, a 6-foot-10 forward from Belgrade, Serbia, who would eventually become the Miami Heat’s first-round pick.

Jovic arrived in Miami to train with Moran and the Miami Hoop School, which has worked with Excel Sports Management for the last three years, preparing its clients throughout the pre-draft process. So, the South Florida weather should be a fairly easy adjustment for the 19 year old.

When Moran found out that Jovic was staying in Miami, he was ecstatic.

“I was watching the draft with my wife and I was really excited,” Moran said. “I know a lot of the Heat coaches. I love the player development that they do, it’s one of the best in the league. So, I was super excited for him and then I was also super excited for the Heat, just getting the type of player he is.

“And then I also get to continue to work with him as he’s here in town and on off days. Just helping him throughout the season.”

Moran, who is the founder of the Miami Hoop School and the head coach at Columbus, has been a pro trainer for several years, working with high-profile clients like Heat standout Tyler Herro and Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks.

When he began to work with Jovic, Moran was immediately attracted to his combination of size and guard-like skills that earned him the 2022 Top Prospect Award in the ABA League while playing for Mega Basket in Belgrade.

“Such a versatile player,” Moran said. “First of all, he’s 6-foot-10 playing a guard position, so his playmaking abilities are incredible. I think he fits right into what the Heat are looking for and I think he’s embracing it.

“He was kind of a main guy on his team in Europe, so he knowns how to carry that load a little bit even as such a young player.”

The main focus of Jovic’s pre-draft workouts were improving his ball-handling and shooting. Moran would put him through intense drills that included midrange jumpers, catch-and-shoot, shooting off the dribble and situational shooting.

All that work evidently turned into solid results as Moran says shooting was where the teenager has made the biggest leap during their time together.

“I would say he definitely made a big improvement in his shooting and in pushing through,” Moran said. “When maybe the workout is not going well, we want the guys to continue to give their best effort because in the game it sometimes doesn’t go well, but there’s other things you could do to help your team win.

“And I think in those areas, he’s improved and he’s got some great endurance from his water polo years. So, I think that’s going to help him when he goes into those conditioning tests for the Heat because they’re pretty rigorous.”

When it came to his off-court training, Jovic headed to Wynwood, working with Andy Luaces and Core Fitness Miami.

Luaces, a Miami native, is a personal trainer and owner of Core Fitness. He also has experience working with professional athletes and specializes in helping his clients become more explosive laterally, vertically and linearly while making sure they stay healthy.

During his time with Jovic, Luaces put less emphasis on building power and more on increasing his mobility. He focused on improving Jovic’s posture by strengthening his glutes and hamstrings.

Luaces believes that with his frame and body type, Jovic has the physique to excel as an NBA player.

“I think his strength is going to help him succeed at the next level,” Luaces said. “He’s a strong guy. I think that’s probably his No. 1 physical attribute.”

No matter whether he was on the court or the weight room, Jovic’s coaches were taken back by how professional he was at such a young age.

“I think he’s got tremendous professionalism,” Luaces said. “And I think that’s because he already played professionally in Europe. He came into the gym and took it very seriously. He showed up ready to work, very respectful. … He was happy to be there and he was happy to improve.”

As the newest member of the Heat, Jovic’s going to need that professionalism to fit into the organization’s culture.

Those who worked with him and saw his work ethic and love for the game up close know that it should be a seamless transition, especially since he shouldn’t have to get used to a new city.

“I think he fits right in [with Heat culture],” Moran said. “From the last few days, he got back from New York [for the draft], we were in the gym the very next day. … So, I think that’s exactly the type of player that they are looking for, one that wants to be in the gym and improve.

“Look at the guys that they’ve gotten that nobody really knew about and the improvement that they have had going through that player development that the Heat culture has built, and, I think, he fits right into that. I think those guys are going to love his game and the things he can do as far helping the Heat win.”


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I thought Prince Andrew was going to prison & Fergie didn’t have a penny – they owed me MILLIONS, says socialite

A FRENCH socialite has settled a £7million lawsuit with Prince Andrew and Fergie because they "didn't have a penny" to pay back the millions owed to her, she claims.

Former pal Isabelle de Rouvre, 74, said the decision by Andrew's ex to buy a £5million property in Mayfair was "incredible and unbelievable" as she thought Fergie "didn't have a penny" to her name.

5Isabelle de Rouvre, 74, said it was 'unbelievable' the Yorks bought a new home despite owing her millions 5De Rouvre sold her Swiss Alps chalet to the Yorks in 2014 for £18mCredit: EPA 5Fergie and Prince Andrew settled their case with de RouvreCredit: Getty - Contributor

Andrew and Sarah Ferguson bought de Rouvre's chalet in Verbier in 2014 for roughly £18million and promised to pay £5million in cash instalments, with interest.

When the Yorks failed to pay up, the 74-year-old socialite took them to court.

De Rouvre said the couple owed her a total of about £6.8million but an agreement was struck where she received £3.4million instead because she was told the Yorks were short of money, according to The Sunday Times.

She claims the reason she didn't vehemently pursue the Royals for the full payment is because of Prince Andrew's legal battle with Jeffrey Epstein survivor Virginia Guiffre.

READ MORE ON PRINCE ANDREWGRAND TASTES Mystery of Andrew's millionaire lifestyle - despite earning only £270k

She thought the couple didn't have money and that Andrew "would be going to prison in America so I thought it best to get what I could", de Rouvre said.

"I am outraged that I am now told she has spent millions on another property.

"It is just incredible and the whole story unbelievable. It is a dirty story as far as I am concerned."

Giuffre, a victim of sex trafficking at the hands of paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, claimed Andrew raped and abused her when she was 17.

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Andrew has vehemently denied the claims against him and settle a civil suit brought forward by Giuffre. Andrew never faced any prospect of jail time.

Fergie purchased her Mayfair mews home from Grosvenor Estates for £5million earlier this year and is thought to be an investment property for her daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Details about the new ownership are yet to be published by the Land Registry.

In 2010, Fergie said she was "continually on the verge of financial bankruptcy".

There were reports she had £4.2million in debt during her 10-year marriage with Prince Andrew.

"I thought she didn’t have a penny," de Rouvre said as she referenced the settlement she reached with the Yorks in November following a protracted and costly legal battle.

The agreement meant the Royals could sell the chalet and use the proceeds to pay off some of the £10million believed to have been paid to Guiffre in their out-of-court settlement.

The chalet was frozen by authorities because a Swiss couple said they were owed a "business debt" of £1.6million, according to local paper Le Temps.

Andrew is said to be disputing the amount he owes the couple but doesn't deny the unpaid debt.

De Rouvre told The Sun she had "run out of patience" over the unpaid loan on the Verbier estate, which is nestled in a well-to-do area of the Swiss Alps.

Swiss sources say Isabelle rented her £22,000-a-week seven-bed Alpine chalet to royals including Prince Harry in the early 2010s.

She became pals with Andrew and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who stayed at the luxury bolthole in the Verbier ski resort in 2013.

They bought it the next year for around £18million, with Isabelle lending them £5million for the deposit.

However, Andrew and Fergie were unable to meet a deadline for repayment and are now being sued for £6.7million including interest.

A friend of Isabelle’s told The Sun: “She has run out of patience.

“She thought these people would be able to pay their debts.

“She became a family friend because she would let Andrew and Sarah stay in her chalet before she sold it to them.

"But they are hardly close friends any more.”

Paris-born Isabelle, a mum of four and nan of seven, is the ex-wife of F1 and sugar tycoon Cyril de Rouvre.

She is now dating French art dealer Michael Kennedy — former lover of Donald Trump’s ex-wife Ivana.

Now back living in Verbier after several years on the Italian Riviera, she told The Sun: “The case is really very difficult. They have a lawyer and I have mine too.”

Andrew and Fergie are believed to have tried to sell the chalet to pay off the debt by December 31 last year but could find no buyer.

It is understood Swiss prosecutors can serve a summons if funds are not paid within 20 days.

The property could then be seized and auctioned.

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It is the latest crisis for the 60-year-old Duke of York.

He stepped down as a senior royal after his car crash Epstein interview on Newsnight last November.

5Andrew, Sarah and their two daughtersCredit: Getty 5Fergie is understood to have bought a £5m property in MayfairCredit: Louis Wood - The Sun

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