Started With A Dream | Spicy P Prevails by Hussein Abdullahi

Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors adds more hardware to his collection winning the Most Improved award. Toronto’s Forward out duelled Brooklyn’s D’Angelo Russell and Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox. This season Pascal played in 8- games averaging career highs in various statistical categories. Spicy P’s played a vital role for the Raptors as they captured their first title in franchise history. At just 25 years of age, Siakam became the first player in franchise history to win a Most Improved award. Spicy P’s also adds an NBA title to his resume in the same season.

Pascal Siakam becomes the first Raptors player in franchise history to win the most improved award (Photo by: Sportsnet).

Pascal Siakam becomes the first Raptors player in franchise history to win the most improved award (Photo by: Sportsnet).

For people who know my story, you know how important my dad is. Not being able to be here today, but he had this crazy dream and people back home never believed in him.
— Pascal Siakam

For those of who are unaware of Siakam’s story it begun back in Cameroon. He grew up the youngest of 3 brothers (James, Christian, Boris) and with 5 siblings. Just like any kid in Africa, Pascal had aspiration of achieving success away from the motherland. Growing up Siakam father Tchamo was the mayor of a small town called Makenene. He instilled a hard work ethic and Christian values within his family. As crazy as it sounds Pascal had minimal interest in playing basketball as a teen.

That all changed back in 2012 when Siakam attended the Basketball Without Boarders camp in South Africa. There he met current teammate Serge Ibaka and it gave him an edge. They came from similar backgrounds and had many commonalities. That led Pascal to attend school in Texas where he become a household name.

Back in 2012, Pascal Siakam attended the Basketball Without Board Camp in South Africa. (Photo by: NBA Africa)

Back in 2012, Pascal Siakam attended the Basketball Without Board Camp in South Africa. (Photo by: NBA Africa)

That’s where I can say it all started. Watching Ibaka and all those people. That’s when i began thinking that basketball is something that I can do.
— Pascal Siakam
Toronto Raptors Forward Pascal Siakam at the NBA Finals press conference after the game 6 victory (Photo by:NBA).

Toronto Raptors Forward Pascal Siakam at the NBA Finals press conference after the game 6 victory (Photo by:NBA).

Before he knew it, Pascal emerged as a star at the collegiate level attending New Mexico State. During his 2 seasons Pascal earned WAC freshman of the year and WAC player of the year honours. After his sophomore season Siakam enter his name is the 2016 NBA draft. The tables started to turn for Siakam and his family as he began to embark on his professional career in the NBA. It was a lifelong dream of Tchamo Siakam to see one of his sons play in the NBA, unfortunately Pascal’s father was killed in a car accident in 2014. Siakam’s attributes his success on court to his family and support system. Siakam’s ferocious play and fighter mentality comes from his parents who provided a better life for their 5 kids.

Fast-forward 5 years later, Siakam has solidified a spot in the NBA as an emerging star and in his third season Pascal adds a most improved award and a championships title to his accolades. This journey started with a dream that manifested back from a small town in Cameroon.

I just want to give a quick message to all the African kids out there, I know it seems hards and not possible most of the times. But believe in your dreams and go out there and work hard for it and I promise you it’ll happen.
— Pascal Siakam

Athlete: Pascal Siakam (@pskills43)

Thanks: NBA, Raptors, Bleacher Report

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-SvUAzfH_I

We The North | 2019 NBA Finals by Hussein Abdullahi

It’s exciting times for fellow Canadians as the Toronto Raptors punched their ticket to the 2019 NBA Finals. They lead to series 2-1 over the Golden State Warriors with a convincing win Wednesday night 123-109. Kawhi Leonard continues to show us why he’s the best player in this years playoffs, He finished with 30 points, 6 , and 7 in game 3. As for the Toronto Raptors they’re 2 wins away from their first NBA title in franchise history. 24 years in the making for The Raptors as they’ve broke several barriers all year. It’s safe to say that the Toronto Raptors influenced Canada’s unique sports culture. If you’re from Canada, you know basketball isn’t our dominant sport. Hockey and baseball receive all the attention. Within the last 5-year, the Raptors garnered a high level of interest from fans. We’ve witness a culture shift with basketball here in Canada, the NBA has grown to o become the most progressive sports league in North America.

Kahwi Leonard led the way for the Raptors in their game 1 victory. (Photo by: NBA)

Kahwi Leonard led the way for the Raptors in their game 1 victory. (Photo by: NBA)

You know it’s big, I’m happy we got it. 2 wins away now and let’s see where momentum carries us to
— Kawhi Leonard

The topic of discussion this series has been about Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant. KD hasn’t suited up for a game this series due to a calf strain that occurred in the western conference semi-finals. The Warriors really could use some firepower for their Finals MVP as they trail to Toronto 2-1. The Golden State Warriors were without Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Kevon Looney in Game 3. With the absence of their core, Stephen Curry poured in a game-high of 47 points in their loss. The story in game 3 was the outside shooting of the Toronto Raptors, they shot 45% from 3pt range and made 17 threes. Heading into Game 4 Kevin Durant has been ruled out (calf), will the Raptors continue to take advantage of KD’s absence? or will the splash brothers even up the series at 2-2?

The Toronto Raptors won game 3 convincingly 123-109 over the Golden State Warriors ( Photo by: CBS Sports)

The Toronto Raptors won game 3 convincingly 123-109 over the Golden State Warriors ( Photo by: CBS Sports)

We can’t really worry about that stuff, I keep saying every single game is critical. We had a lot of this throughout the playoffs with other teams and guys out, we had some guys out.
— Nick Nurse

Game 4 will be live from Oracle Arena, the Toronto Raptors have the opportunity to head back home with a convincing 3-1 lead over the Warriors. With a depleted Warriors ball club and the momentum in the raptors favour they should have the upper edge. The Warriors will be with their sharp shooter Klay Thompson in game 4, who poured in 25 points in game 2. The Raptors need a huge game from their leader and all-star Kyle Lowry, throughout this post-season Kyle Lowry has shown strong leadership qualities and has elevated his ball club when called upon. In game 3 Kyle poured in 23 points, 9 assists, shooting 50% from the field. The Raptors are very tough to beat when their clicking on all cylinders, but if it’s any team who can weather the storm, it would be the defending champs. Game 4 will be a pivotal moment for the Raptors; it’s exciting times for Canada as history is being written. I’m calling it, RAPTORS IN 6!!!!!!!!!

The Raptors are in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, they lead the defending champs GSW 2-1. (Photo by: The Score)

The Raptors are in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, they lead the defending champs GSW 2-1. (Photo by: The Score)

These guys are in trouble, they’re in injury trouble. Looney was out, KD is out, and Klay is out!!
— Max Kellerman

Thanks: @raptors,@nba, @bleacherreport, @thescore

2019 NBA Finals