Joel Embiid is not your typical African basketball player. He stands tall at 7 feet and weighs over 250 pounds. His back story alone makes him one of the most interesting prospects to come out of Central Africa in years—a region usually known for their athletics, but never for their achievements in America’s favorite pastime. But at only 20 years of age, the Cameroonian center has more ups than downs in his basketball career.
Where was Joel Embiid born
Joel Embiid was born in Yaounde, Cameroon to his mother Christine who is a nurse. He has two siblings named Arthur and Olivia. His father Thomas is the family’s financial provider. Joel lived with his parents, three brothers and three sisters up until he was eight years old when he left Cameroon to live with his father in the United States.
Embiid’s story is quite different from other professional athletes who come from Africa because of his age when he moved to America. Most African natives who move to America in order to make it professionally usually leave their home country when they are teenagers—watching television and following the path of athletes who made it big in America usually inspire teenagers to go for their dreams. But Embiid’s age when he moved to the United States makes his story unique, because he always wanted to be an athlete, but didn’t know what sport until much later on in life.
His journey to the United States and how he got into basketball
Embiid moved from Cameroon to attend school in America at the age of 8. He was a freshman in high school when he made the move from Cameroon to start living with his father so he could receive an education in America.
He went on to win a scholarship and become a standout player for The University of Kansas.
Becoming a professional player
He was drafted 3rd overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2014 draft. He got an invitation to play for Team Africa in the 2014 NBA Africa exhibition game which he accepted. He’s expected to be a big part of the 76ers team during the upcoming season.
Embiid made history when he became the third African player to ever play in an NBA game.
He has been compared to Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson. His former coach at Kansas said his athleticism reminds people of a young Shawn Kemp while his footwork is similar to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
He’s a bit injury-prone but if he can avoid getting hurt in the future, Embiid has the potential to become one of the best centers in NBA history.
Where does he rank among African basketball players?
Joel Embiid ranks at the top of African basketball players. He is arguably one of, if not THE most athletic player out of the whole of Africa. He’s been able to be a part of history by being the third African player to ever play in an NBA game.
Embiid is not only the youngest Cameroonian to play in the NBA but he’s also been one of the best centers in the league for a few years now. He is able to leap higher than most players in the NBA.
For such a young player such as Joel Embiid, his body frame has always been a point of contention for fans.
The meaning behind his famous catchphrase “Trust The Process”
Most players are satisfied with the glory that comes from being an awesome athlete. Not Embiid. He’s meticulous in his approach, determined to be the best player he can be, and refuses to stop progressing.
Trust The Process is a mantra Embiid lives by. He doesn’t care about what other people think of him—he just cares about one thing: his own growth and improvement.
Many great things are expected from Joel Embiid, and we can expect even more if he continues his career with a positive mindset. He’s come a long way from Cameroon to America, but still desires a greater path for himself.
The catchphrase “trust the process” has helped him stay focused on improving while he waits for more playing time from his team Philadelphia 76ers.
If you’re looking for a new favorite player this year, you should be watching Joel Embiid. He’s one of the most exciting players to come out of Cameroon.