SAN ANTONIO (NBA/FIBA Americas Championship) - Brazil center Tiago Splitter has many qualities that endear him to the teams he plays for.
The 2.11m, 108.9kg pivot is big and strong and doesn't back down against any center.
While a player at Caja Laboral in Spain, Splitter worked extremely hard and earned a spot on the Euroleague first team.
In 2010, a year he led the Basque outfit to the Spanish title, Splitter he was named as the Liga Endesa's Player of the Year.
He joined elite company because Arvydas Sabonis, Dejan Bodiroga, Andres Nocioni, Luis Scola, Juan Carlos Navarro and Marc Gasol had also claimed the honor.
Now in his third season with the San Antonio Spurs, Splitter is starting and averaging a career high 9.5 points and 5.2 rebounds.
The 28-year-old is doing something else.
He is shooting lights out at the free-throw line, and that has everyone buzzing in San Antonio.
As a rookie, Splitter had a nightmare at the charity stripe, making only 54.3% of his attempts but so far this season, he has buried 74.8%.
Splitter is definitely not the player to foul in the Spurs line-up right now because he has drilled 40 of his last 46 attempts.
"I don't even want to talk about it,” Splitter said with a smile, after he was asked about his free-throw stroke by a reporter in San Antonio.
"It's going so well I don't want to talk about it."
Splitter has won the trust of Spurs boss Gregg Popovich.
The San Antonio coach has started him in San Antonio's last 13 games.
Splitter goes into a showdown with Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies on the back of an impressive 14-point, 14-rebound performance against the Los Angeles Lakers.
After the season, Splitter will link up with Brazil again and play at the FIBA Americas Championship, a qualifying tournament for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.