Originally planning on becoming a professional volleyball player, Joel Embiid started playing basketball when he was 15 years old. The next year, he moved from Africa to the United States to fully commit to his new goal – playing professional basketball.
Off to a good start, he attended the University of Kansas, where there is a rich history of successful college basketball. After only playing one year, the seven-footer declared that he’d be submitting his name into the 2014 NBA Draft pool.
High Prospects, Major Setbacks
Just six days before the draft, he had the broken navicular bone in his right foot surgically repaired, putting him on the shelf for an estimated four to six months. Still, the Philadelphia 76ers selected him third overall, accomplishing his goal of becoming an NBA player.
Unfortunately, that original estimation turned out to be inaccurate. Four to six months soon became a year. A CT scan discovered his foot wasn’t healing properly, and one year became two years after undergoing a second surgery. In all, Embiid missed two entire seasons.
He played in his first NBA game in 2016. Embiid started at center for Philadelphia’s first preseason game, recording six points, four rebounds, and two blocks in 13 minutes of playing time.
On Oct. 26, 2016, he finally made his long-anticipated regular season debut. He scored 20 points, snagged seven boards, and blocked two shots, playing 25 minutes. His success continued as the NBA named him the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for October, November, December, and January.
Things were finally looking up for Joel and the 76ers until it was revealed in early February that he tore his left meniscus. He was eventually ruled out for the rest of the season.
Trust The Process
Playing in only 31 games over three seasons, he’s averaging 20.2 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game. The talent and skill are clearly there. His potential is through the roof. But obviously the question remains, can he stay healthy?
After tanking to secure better draft picks, the phrase “Trust the Process” became incredibly popular among fans and journalists, so Embiid nicknamed himself – “The Process.” It seems as though trusting the actual process paid off, as they now have a wealth of young talent in their organization – including Jahlil Okafor, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, and Markelle Fultz. But can Philadelphia trust “The Process?” He wants to stay healthy and bring basketball trophies to PA for many years to come, but his track record says that might not be likely. Only time will tell.
For the best trophy company serving NJ and PA, visit Spike’s Trophies! And don’t forget to check back here to learn more about the athletes that play here in Philadelphia.