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Raleigh Cougar Prepares to Impress Miami Heat

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RALEIGH — The United States Basketball League affords players the chance to work on parts of their game that may be keeping them off an NBA roster.

Despite averaging 26 points per game, the Cougars Tyrone Hopkins has a chink in his armor, a deficiency he hopes to smooth over on his way to bigger and better things.

"I've got to improve on my jump shot," Hopkins explains, "Everybody knows that. It's been the weakness for me. I've now worked on it. Hopefully, it will fall for me. I know it will fall for me this year, and it will open up new doors for me."

One of those doors is wide open. In 12 days, Hopkins will audition for the Miami Heat, an opportunity that comes as no surprise to head coach Twiggy Sanders.

"I'm pretty sure at some point we're going to lose Tyrone," Sanders says. "If nothing else but a combine with something in the NBA camp or something like that. That's what you expect to get when you get top quality players."

It's what the USBL is all about, giving talented players like Tyrone Hopkins the chance to reach the NBA.