Saturday, April 24, 2021

How Bam Adebayo Went from “Terrible” Sixth Grade Hooper to NBA Star

 This past Sunday night, the Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo hit his first-ever career buzzer-beater. The game-winning shot, which helped his team beat the Brooklyn Nets, capped a stretch of firsts for the 23-year-old, going back to the beginning of last season


 The 2019-2020 season was his first as a permanent starter, after being drafted by Miami in 2017. Adebayo’s breakout year earned him his first All-Star appearance. After coronavirus forced NBA teams into the bubble, Adebayo would shine in his first deep playoff run, helping his team make an improbable run to the NBA Finals. Though they lost, Adebayo’s play firmly established him as one of the league’s brightest young talents. This offseason, the Heat signed the versatile 6’9” forward/center to a five-year extension, worth at least $163 million.

That money comes with some added perks. The son of a single mother living in a single wide trailer in rural Pinetown in Eastern Carolina, Adebayo was recently able to buy his mom a house. (And splurged on an automatic t-shirt roller for himself.) He’s also been able to grow his regular practice of engaging in random acts of kindness—what he calls RAKing. Sometimes he picks up the tab for an unsuspecting couple out to eat, or someone behind him in the drive-through. Other times, he fulfills entire Christmas wish lists for less fortunate kids

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