Precious Achiuwa #5 of the New York Knicks puts up...

Precious Achiuwa #5 of the New York Knicks puts up a shot during the second quarter against Rudy Gobert #27 of the Minnesota Timberwolves at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 in New York City. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Midseason trades can be a jolt for a professional athlete, but one of the newest Knicks, Precious Achiuwa, has an edge on the other two players who arrived on Saturday in a trade with the Raptors.

Achiuwa was born in Nigeria but grew up primarily in New York, going to high school at Our Saviour Lutheran in the Bronx before later prep stops in New Jersey and Florida.

His brother, God’sgift, played for St. John’s in the early 2010s, so he attended both college and pro games at the Garden.

He still has many friends and relatives who live in and around New York.

“I’m very excited to be back home in front of my family, friends that I grew up with,” Achiuwa said before the Knicks’ 112-106 win over the Timberwolves on Monday at MSG.

“Really, really a very exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to it.”

Achiuwa was scoreless in 8:34, shooting 0-for-2 from the field, and had three rebounds. He was averaging 7.7 points and 5.4 rebounds this season with Toronto.

The 6-8, 243-pounder apparently will serve as an option at center behind Isaiah Hartenstein.

“You talk about basketball at the highest level, this is one of the first places that comes to people’s minds, the Mecca of basketball,” Achiuwa said.

“Me being able to play in the Garden, and not just in the Garden but also in front of my family and friends, means a lot to me.”

Achiuwa said the city game shaped his career.

“It played a very important role; playing in the inner cities and going to school in the city played a very big role,” he said. “The New York style of basketball and everything that comes with it, being familiar with the city, with the people in the city, definitely played a huge role in my basketball journey.”  

McBride cashes in

 Miles McBride has had a limited role with the Knicks, but that did not stop the team from signing him Saturday to a three-year, $13 million contract that kicks in next season.

 McBride said the timing surprised him, but the result pleased him.

  “They came to me, or my agents, and talked to us and told me about their belief in me,” he said. “I was truly grateful, for the opportunity and for them believing in me.”

 He added, “When it happened, I felt a little bit of relief, but all the focus now is to win games and go out and prove it.”

 McBride played 7:20 against the Timberwolves and was scoreless, going 0-for-3 from the field.


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