Robert Hite is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard competing for the final spot on the Miami Heat's 15-man roster.
The Heat brought everyone back from a year ago except Shandon Anderson.
Although the spots are limited, Hite is competing for the final roster spot.
"It is a great situation," Hite said. "They need some shooters and I have been shooting the ball very well this whole summer. They need a back-up point guard and I have been working on my ball handling. I have been doing a good job with that and I am just looking forward to the opportunity and getting ready for camp tomorrow."
Hite is competing with undrafted rookie guards: Vincent Grier (Minnesota), Daniel Horton (Michigan), and Chris Quinn (Notre Dame) in addition to Antonio Burks, a third-year player who has played in 84 games in the past two seasons.
"It is definitely an ideal situation for myself," Hite said. "Coming to a team that won the championship is a great feeling and getting a chance to play with players like Wade and Shaq. I know I will get a lot of open looks and I jut have to knock them down. I have been doing a great job of that. I just have to cont6inue to work and things will work out well hopefully."
Hite appeared in five games for the Heat in the Pepsi Pro Summer League in Orlando averaging 7.0 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 24.0 minutes per game. He averaged more points than the other three undrafted rookies he is competing with.
"I played very well," said Hite, who led the team in three-point field goals made with five. "I shot the ball well and that's when I got my look. That's why I am here now."
Hite will participate in his first Heat practice tomorrow at 10 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m.
While he might be a bit overwhelmed, it will help that he has already developed relationships with Dorell Wright, Udonis Haslem, and Earl Barron.
"I have a great relationship with those guys and they tell me to just keep working and hopefully everything will work out," Hite said. "I just want to keep shooting the ball, handle the ball, not make dumb decisions, play hard especially on defense because I know Pat Riley loves guys that get after it."
Hite finished his four-year career at the University of Miami fifth on UM's career scoring list with 1,717 points, fourth in steals with 187, and third in three-point field goals made with 228.
During his senior year he averaged 16.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per game and was a third-team All-ACC selection.
With Hite gone along with second-round draft pick Guillermo Diaz, the Hurricanes will need someone to step up this season.
One of those people who could step up is Jack McClinton, a transfer from Siena.
"He is a great player," Hite said. "He is hard-nosed and will get after it defensively, can handle the ball, shoot the ball, great scorer. Coach Haith has a great player in Jack. People will see when the season starts. He's very tough and I am looking forward to seeing him this season."
When asked how good the team will be this year, Hite responded: "I don't really know. They have some good talent over there but I haven't really seen them together. I am going to go check out a practice or two to see how good they are. They have the talent, it is just a matter of putting it together and playing hard and committing to the team."
Hite hasn't talked to Diaz in "about a month", but said Diaz will be alright. Said Hite: "He's a good guy, he works hard so we'll see him again."
Frank Haith is entering his third season as the UM head coach (34-29) and is looking to take his team to the NCAA tournament for the first time.
"Coach Haith is a great guy and great coach," Hite said. "I talk to him once or twice every two weeks to update him on what is going on. I love him and learned a lot from him in my career. I got so much better in my last two years there since he has been there. I will definitely continue to have a relationship with coach Haith and I wish him the best."
Christopher Stock can be reached at email@example.com
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