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