NBA

Pascal Siakam, first Cameroonian at the top of the NBA

Pascal Siakam (d) des Toronto Raptors lors du match 6 de la finale NBA face aux Golden State Warriors, à Oakland, le 13 juin 2019 I GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / EZRA SHAW

wasted no time: he became Thursday after just two full seasons in the the first Cameroonian to win the most coveted and prestigious title of basketball.

A 25 ans, Siakam est entré dans l’histoire du et s’est fait une place aux cotés des stars locales du football, le sport-roi dans son pays.

At 25, Siakam has entered the history of Cameroon and has made a place alongside local football stars, the sport-king in his country.

The native of Douala had made a great impression in the first game of the 2019 final where he disgusted Stephen Curry and his teammates with 32 points and an impressive 14 of 17 shooting.

His offensive output dropped in the following matches (12, 18, 19 and 12 points), but the winger hurt the Warriors in the decisive N.6, winning 114-110, with his 26 points and 10 rebounds.

He mostly scored the that made Golden State fold 18 seconds of the siren. He gave his team three points ahead, which he had put in a bad position a few seconds earlier, losing a balloon important.

“When I was a kid, I could not dream that I could ever live that and I think a lot of kids would say the same thing, but I tell them: + Look at me, I was a little gaunt kid of Cameroon and now I am a champion, “he said in a press conference.

“I want to tell them that it is possible, if you believe in something and that you work.This may seem cliché, but it is the truth, I am the proof,” continued the one who should receive end of June the player’s trophy having progressed the most.

“I continue to learn”

Siakam.

If he is not the first African NBA champion (Nigerians Hakeem Olajuwon, with Houston in 1994 and 1995, and Festus Ezeli with Golden State in 2015 have preceded), this title is the apotheosis of an incredible course where nothing predestined him to such a scenario.

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Pascal Siakam (R) of the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against Golden State Warriors, Oakland, June 13, 2019 I GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP / Thearon W. Henderson.

Raised in a practicing Catholic family, he was destined to become a priest and experienced the rigors of the seminary.

Passionate about football, he reluctantly starts basketball to follow his older brothers. He is immediately spotted during an internship organized in 2011 in Cameroon by his compatriot Luc Mbah a Moute, who plays in the NBA since 2008.

He left Cameroon in 2013, first for a high school in Texas, before joining the University of New Mexico.

It is there that he learns of the death of his father and that he must give up to return to Cameroon to attend the funeral so as not to compromise his career and his visa.

Drafted in 2016 by Toronto, he first had to prove himself in the G-League, the reserve team championship of NBA franchises, before picking up playing time last season and explode this season.

“It’s just because I play more often and longer, because I started playing basketball late, there’s still so much I’m still learning,” he said before the first one. match of the final.

And what he showed during the final, he learns quickly.

AFP

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