Pascal Siakam

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Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam 2018.jpg
Siakam in 2018
No. 43 – Toronto Raptors
Position Power forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1994-04-02) April 2, 1994 (age 24)
Douala, Cameroon
Nationality Cameroonian
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school God's Academy (Lewisville, Texas)
College New Mexico State (2014–2016)
NBA draft 2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27th overall
Selected by the Toronto Raptors
Playing career 2016–present
Career history
2016–present Toronto Raptors
2017 Raptors 905
Career highlights and awards
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Pascal Siakam (born April 2, 1994) is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After attending New Mexico State University and playing basketball for the Aggies, Siakam was selected with the 27th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft by the Toronto Raptors.

Early life

Siakam was born in Douala, Cameroon to Tchamo and Victorie Siakam and was the youngest of four brothers. Siakam's father worked at a local transit company and was also the mayor of Makénéné. His father enrolled him in St. Andrew's Seminary, a Catholic institution in Bafia, at age 11; according to a 2018 story by ESPN journalist Jackie MacMullan, Pascal was "hand-picked to embody his family's Catholicism." He was an academic star, initially planning to become a Catholic priest, but by age 15 no longer wanted to be a priest. Siakam initially had little interest in basketball, unlike his older brothers, all of whom earned scholarships to NCAA Division I schools.[1]

He was discovered as a player by Luc Mbah a Moute, whose parents' home in Bafia is about 2 miles (3 km) from St. Andrew's Seminary, at a local camp. Siakam attended Mbah a Moute's camp for the first time in 2011, a year before graduating from St. Andrew's, and returned to the camp the following year, after which he was chosen to attend a Basketball Without Borders camp. At this camp, despite having had virtually no basketball experience, he gained attention for his athleticism and extremely high energy level; in MacMullan's 2018 story, Raptors president Masai Ujiri, who had been at this camp, recalled, "His effort was memorable."[1] With Mbah a Moute as a mentor, Siakam moved to the United States at the age of 16. Siakam moved from one camp to the next to become a better professional basketball player before settling in Lewisville, Texas. He spent a year at God's Academy in Lewisville, due to previously being labeled ineligible for play,[2] before being recruited by New Mexico State University.

College career

Siakam first attended New Mexico State in 2013. However, because of an injury, he redshirted the 2013–14 season. During his redshirted freshman year at New Mexico State in 2014–15, Siakam was named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. He averaged 20.2 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 34 games in 2015–16 en route to unanimous Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors.[3]

On April 19, 2016, Siakam declared for the NBA draft, forgoing his final two years of college eligibility.[4]

Professional career

Toronto Raptors (2016–present)

On June 23, 2016, Siakam was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the 27th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. On July 9, 2016, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Raptors.[5] On October 26, 2016, Siakam became the first Toronto rookie to start a season opener since Jonas Valančiūnas in 2012—and rose to the occasion, hauling in nine rebounds to go along with four points in 21 minutes in a 109–91 win over the Detroit Pistons.[6] Not only was this Siakam's NBA debut, it was also the first NBA game he had ever seen in person.[1] On December 3, 2016, he scored a season-high 14 points in a 128–84 win over the Atlanta Hawks.[7] On January 1, 2017, he recorded a season-high 10 rebounds in a 123–114 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.[7] Siakam started at power forward in all 34 games to start the 2016–17 season before being replaced in the starting line-up by Lucas Nogueira on January 5, 2017.[8] During his rookie season, Siakam received multiple assignments to Raptors 905, Toronto's D-League affiliate.[9] In April 2017, he helped Raptors 905 win the NBA Development League Championship. They defeated the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 2–1 in the finals, as Siakam averaged 23.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in the series. He was subsequently named the NBA D-League Finals MVP for his performance.[10]

On October 25, 2017, Siakam scored a then career-high 20 points in a 117–112 loss to the Golden State Warriors.[11] During the 2017–18 season, the Raptors' offensive rating was four points better with Siakam on the floor, compared to seven points worse his rookie year.[12] He was compared to Warriors' forward Draymond Green.[12]

On October 29, 2018, Siakam scored a then career-high 22 points in a 124–109 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.[13][14] A day later, he had 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in a 129–112 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.[14] On November 10, he set a new career high with 23 points in a 128–112 win over the New York Knicks.[15] He was subsequently named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played November 5–11, becoming the eighth player in franchise history to earn player of the week honours, joining DeMar DeRozan (10 times), Vince Carter (seven times), Chris Bosh (seven times), Kyle Lowry (four times), Mike James, Jalen Rose and Lou Williams.[16] On November 29, he scored a career-high 26 points in a 131–128 overtime win over the Warriors.[17]

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

NBA

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2016–17 Toronto 55 38 15.6 .502 .143 .688 3.4 .3 .5 .8 4.2
2017–18 Toronto 81 5 20.7 .508 .220 .621 4.5 2.0 .8 .5 7.3
Career 136 43 18.7 .506 .216 .639 4.0 1.3 .6 .6 6.0

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2017 Toronto 2 0 5.0 .000 1.5 .5 .5 .0 .0
2018 Toronto 10 0 17.9 .610 .750 .650 3.6 .8 .1 .6 6.6
Career 12 0 15.8 .581 .750 .650 3.3 .8 .2 .5 5.5

College

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2014–15 New Mexico State 34 27 30.8 .572 .000 .759 7.7 1.3 .8 1.8 12.8
2015–16 New Mexico State 34 34 34.6 .539 .200 .678 11.6 1.7 1.0 2.2 20.3
Career 68 61 32.7 .551 .176 .711 9.7 1.5 .9 2.0 16.6

Personal life

Siakam is the son of Tchamo Siakam, the former mayor of Makénéné, Cameroon, and Victorie Siakam. His father died in a car crash in October 2014. To this day, one of Siakam's greatest regrets is that he was unable to attend his father's funeral because it occurred while he was waiting for the issuance of a new US visa.[1] His three older brothers, Boris, Christian, and James, all played NCAA Division I basketball in the United States[18]—Boris at Western Kentucky, Christian at IUPUI, and James at Vanderbilt.[1] James is now a professional basketball player for the Island Storm in the NBL Canada.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e MacMullan, Jackie (December 5, 2018). "Inside Pascal Siakam's 6,000-mile journey to Raptors stardom". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  2. ^ NMSU's Pascal Siakam honors his late father by #DoingItForYou
  3. ^ WAC Men’s Basketball Postseason Honors Announced
  4. ^ Pascal Siakam declares for 2016 NBA Draft
  5. ^ "Raptors Sign First Round Picks Poeltl & Siakam". NBA.com. July 9, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  6. ^ "DeRozan's 40 leads Raptors to 109-91 win over Pistons". ESPN.com. October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Pascal Siakam 2016-17 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  8. ^ "Lowry scores 33, rallies Raptors to 101-93 win over Jazz". ESPN.com. January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  9. ^ "All-Time NBA Assignments". NBA.com. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  10. ^ "Stackhouse, Raptors 905 Cap Historic Season With NBA D-League Championship". NBA.com. April 27, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  11. ^ "Raptors' Pascal Siakam: Career-best point total in loss". cbssports.com. October 26, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Connors, Colin (June 8, 2018). "2017-18 Player Review: Pascal Siakam". raptorsrepublic.com. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  13. ^ "Sans Freak, Bucks top Raptors to be last NBA undefeated team". ESPN.com. October 29, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Leonard scores 31 points as Raptors beat 76ers 129-112". ESPN.com. October 30, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018. Siakam scored a career-best 22 points at Milwaukee on Monday.
  15. ^ "Siakam scores career-high 23, Raptors beat Knicks 128-112". ESPN.com. November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  16. ^ "Pascal Siakam Named East Player of the Week". NBA.com. November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  17. ^ "Leonard scores 37, Raptors beat Warriors 131-128 in OT". ESPN.com. November 29, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  18. ^ New Mexico State's Pascal Siakam Is the Best Player You've Never Heard of

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
  • Pascal Siakam at nmstatesports.com
  • Siakam hoping to fulfill his late father's NBA dream
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