A few weeks ago, we teased an emerging star from the NBA’s most dominant team through one month of the season. His name? Pascal Siakim. And if you haven’t heard it yet, you should get used to it.
We won't bore you with the mathematics of Pascal’s triangle (we skipped that day of math class). This Pascal, and this triangle, are different. It’s a three-point journey featuring Siakim’s unique path to the NBA, and he’s only getting warmed up.
Point 1: Cameroon
Born in Douala, Cameroon, basketball wasn’t a career path for young Pascal. He was the youngest of four brothers in the town of Makenene where his father was the mayor. Initially, he planned to become a catholic priest, but he grew to love basketball.
As a teenager, he was discovered by Cameroonian NBA player Luc Mbah a Moute.
Point 2: United States
With Mbah a Moute as his mentor, Siakim came to the states and was recruited by New Mexico State, but it wasn’t easy for him early on. An injury forced him to redshirt his freshman year in 2013. Then, his father died in a car accident in 2014.
That season, he was named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. A season later, he won the conference’s Player of the Year Award with 20.2 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. Talk about a breakout.
Point 3: Canada
After two seasons at New Mexico State, Siakim declared for the draft, but he was still a raw talent. He was taken by Toronto with the 27th pick – an international city with an affinity for international talent.
Siakim spent most of his rookie season in the D League where he led the Raptors 905 squad to a championship and garnered the D League Finals MVP Award.
So far this season, Siakim has brought his game full circle… err… triangle. He’s grabbed a starter role and averaged 15 points and 7 rebounds to help propel the Raptors to the NBA’s best record (17-4).
There’s a good chance you haven’t heard of Pascal Siakim, but be ready for this underdog to help Toronto make a deep playoff run.