An American Footballer, Roger Staubach, once said: “Winning isn’t getting ahead of others, it’s getting ahead of yourself.” This certainly seems to be the case for Miami Heat’s centre, Bam Adebayo, as he seems to be enjoying a meteoritic rise to fame.
Two months before now, Bam Adebayo was neither a household name in the National Basketball Association (NBA), nor the Nigerian sports scene, but having been a part of the storied Miami Heats Franchise this year, a team that made it to the NBA finals, Bam has been receiving a lot of attention.
His performance for his team in the finals has brought a lot of focus to him, and even the Nigerian National basketball team have set their sights towards him.
A Pivotal year
About a year ago, Bam was the 14th pick in the NBA draft back in 2017, chosen by none other than the Heats. He has long been a role player, contributing to his team in what little way he can, hardly what you would describe as a superstar. He finished the 2019 NBA season with an average of 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
While his points and assists numbers were less than impressive, his rebounding numbers and outstanding defence that led the team to keep him.
He applied to be a part of the USA’s international team and was invited for training camp, but was eventually turned down.
A year later, his points average in the NBA shot up to 15.9 in the regular season and 17.4 in the playoffs, making him the most valuable player on a championship contender team, as stated by the Heats captain Jimmy Butler.
His performance during the recently concluded NBA finals caught the attention of Musa Kida the president of the National Basketball Federation, who has stated that he would love to have Adebayo on D’Tigers roster for the Olympic Games next year.
“Having Bam in our national team is a possibility that we are considering as a federation ahead of the 2020 Olympics and beyond,” Kida stated in a statement released by the NBBF to ESPN.
“We are excited about how far he has gone and what he can achieve in his career with D’Tigers if he chooses to play for Nigeria.”
Adebayo in turn has stated; “My dad is Nigerian so if they asked me, I would consider it.”