Prior to stepping in U.S. soil as nothing more than a mid-level prospect at the college level in 2013, Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam did not know much about the NBA. So much so, that he once took a picture with now-teammate Serge Ibaka without actually knowing who Ibaka was at that time.
Siakam narrated the story about the first tie he met Ibaka to NBA’s Ernie Johnson:
Pascal was born and raised in his native of Cameroon, and actually wanted to become a priest prior to taking his shot at a basketball career in the United States. This mostly explains why his knowledge in the NBA was limited at that time. As it turns out, he just took a photo with Ibaka just because everybody else was doing it, and not actually because he looked up to him.
How times have changed. Siakam is now one of the fastest rising stars in the league. As fate would have it, he ended up becoming teammates with Ibaka. Siakam definitely knows who Ibaka is at this point, as they battled side by side in what was an historic championship run last season.
Siakam has stepped up as Toronto’s main man this season. He has been averaging 23.6 points (on 45.9 percent shooting), 7.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.0 steals, while also connecting on 2.2 triples per contest on a 35.9-percent clip. Not only were these numbers enough to earn him his first ever call-up to the All-Star squad, but more importantly, Siakam has led the Raptors to a 46-18 tally, which is good for the second-best record in the East.