“I fight for my father every night. I really hope that he can tell me that he is proud of me. I play for something more important than basketball,” Pascal Siacam said after the game. He scored 32 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in 14 of 17 shots in 40 minutes, and broke the match of the best defensive player Draymond Green. In the finals, the new army Raptors also defeated the defending champion Warriors with 118-109.
32 points, the fifth highest score in the finals of the finals in the past 30 years, Sikam and Terry, Kamp, tied Ivanson after 48 points, Durant and Jordan with 36 points, and 33 points Duncan. Compared to those prominent names, Sikam was only 7.3 points per game last year, but this season, the 25-year-old Cameroon averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, in the comparison of the most improved players. Not to be a second person, in the 2018-19 season, his brilliance has been shining since the start of the season to the finals.
But who can imagine that this talented, top-notch power forward has just started playing basketball at the age of 18, and seven years later, he has stood on the stage of the finals to become the focus.
Everything has to start with his father, Techamo Siacam.
Old Sikam is an avid NBA fan. Many years ago, he always called the four sons together and told them the story of NBA talents. Old Sikam has a lifelong wish: see one of them enter the NBA to play.
The four sons have inherited his talents: tall, intelligent, and athletic. They tried to fulfill their father’s wishes. They all came to the United States to play college games, the older brother was in Western Kentucky, the second brother was in IUPUI, and the third brother was in Vanderbilt. All three people grew to 2 meters, and both exceeded 104 kilograms. However, their college career was very stable, but they have never been seen by NBA scouts.
At this time, Pascal, like other Cameroonian children, likes football and has no interest in basketball. Although he soon grew to 2 meters 06, his ability to run is much better than three brothers – in his father’s opinion, he is undoubtedly the best gene.
“My brothers have been persuading me, so I will play basketball for a while,” Pascal said. “But I don’t like it. I never intended to use it as a profession.”
In 2012, Ba Moo held a basketball borderless training camp in his hometown. His three brothers took him with reluctance to participate. When two tall figures appeared, they jumped excitedly: Look at it! Ibaka and Roel-Deng! They are so big!” Pascal was confused and he didn’t know who they were talking about.
But he was chosen: Marvin Menzis, the head coach of New Mexico State University, took a fancy to him. “Friends in Africa recommend Pascal to me. I have scouting networks throughout Africa, so I Followed, I was the first to observe him, and the last one.” Menzis said, “He is a blank canvas with unlimited possibilities, no habits and skill levels, but no bad problems. His greatest strength is not in the scouting report, but his attitude: he has a big smile and has been watching you and learning everything you teach him.”
Menzis didn’t know that Sikam had just started playing basketball in high school this year and lost less than 90 kilograms. He has never been noticed. But under his introduction, Sikam began to realize that he has the potential to become a good basketball player. “I saw Ibaka, they also speak French. They also started from scratch, have a good talent, and eventually become Excellent player, basketball without borders tells me that everything is possible.”
But he didn’t know at the time, there was another person outside of Menzis who was paying close attention to his situation – Marshall Ujeri, the president of the Nuggets basketball operations at the time, the Nigerian, also the Bamot training camp. And the head of the NBA Basketball Without Borders Africa campaign, four years later, he personally selected Sikam.
“When I first saw him in 2012, I definitely can’t tell you that he can play the NBA,” Ujeri said. “This story is too unimaginable, and his efforts are unforgettable.”
Pascal received a two-year foundational scholarship from the Louisville Theological Seminary and was promised to receive a scholarship from New Mexico State University. He went back and told the third brother that the other person’s eyes widened. “Cheat… lie to me?” ”
The third brother did not believe in the talent of his younger brother, but in the impression of the whole family, Pascal did not like basketball, and even disgusted. But he hates going to school more, and his father wanted him to be a pastor, but he is very resistant.
He began to deliberately violate the rules, hoping to be expelled by Father Collins. The pastor confined him, but made him more rebellious. In his own words, “We are in conflict every day.”
He hated the conditions of the chapel of the seminary, and he did not want to be a pastor. But at the strong request of his father, he finished the course. After an absent-minded prayer, he packed his bags and went to the United States.
“I realized very early on that this child is not bad,” said Father Collins. “We can’t make him a pastor, but he can be taught to be a man.”
Sikam also has no bad feelings about the pastor. “I just don’t want to stay there, I can do anything.”
In 2017, when people told Father Collins that Sikam had already finished his rookie season in the NBA, the wise man was not surprised. “I know Pascal, if one thing really deserves his efforts, he already Will be the best.”
But at the time, perhaps another thing touched Sikam: once he went to the market, he accidentally saw a magnificent mansion, exactly what he dreamed of, with fountains and statues inside. Later he learned that it was the residence of Ba Mot’s parents, and at this time, Sikam was just discovered at the training camp in Bamot and was about to leave for the United States.
In the 2013-14 season, he still has to scold the ball and can’t play NCAA. He spends his time in the training hall. He occasionally hears the call from his father, tells him to work hard, and tells him that he has no experience with the pastor. The act of courtesy has been forgiven but will not be forgotten.
In the 2014-15 season, he was finally able to play NCAA. At that time, he was still preparing for the preseason. He called by phone and joined the sister who lived. She also came to the United States to study.
My sister cried and told Sciacham that his father died in a car accident.
His first reaction was that I had to go home and go to the funeral. But the situation at the time was that if he chose to go home, he would not be able to get a visa to return to the United States. “Brother and mother told me that you can’t come back.”
Menzis rushed to embrace Sikakam in the first time. Menzis, who lost his father two years ago, felt very empathetic, but he soon discovered that Sikam made a sensible decision to give up attending the funeral and stay in the United States. Because once you go back, you will lose your scholarship and lose the hope of the NBA.
He scribbled on the shoes and wrote “RIP Dad”, meditation to give this season to him. On many nights, he kept himself shut in the room and cried. “This thing has always been a knot,” said the third brother. “I can’t forgive myself without attending the funeral.”
This season of sadness and pain, Sikam was named the best rookie in the WAC Division, and next year he became the best player in the WAC Division, averaging 20.2 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. “Pascal was even more after his father died. Love basketball,” Menzis said. “He began to accept this sacred mission, he is fighting for his father’s wishes.”
After the second year of college, he decided to stand for election. The Raptors invited him to try out the training. At the same time, the trials were also held by Pultel and Rabbisier. When Sikakam was ready to go, he found that he was doing a good job. Ertel and Rabisier were placed under the scouting basket, but they were placed opposite.
“I am mad at me,” Sikam said. “That is my best training. I am very angry. I am so good.”
At the same time, watching the training of the Raptors coach Casey noticed his defensive pace and posture, as well as his fight against the ball, Kathy commented, “He is the most motivated player I have ever seen.”
The Raptors selected him at the 27th overall pick, and Peltel was selected by the Raptors in the 9th overall pick in the same year. The two became teammates. Three months later, my mother came to Washington to visit his sister, and by the way saw his preseason.
Since his father’s death, he has not seen his mother. At dinner, my mother evaluated Pascal, which looks taller, stronger and more mature. “I feel she is carrying my tears on my back,” Sikam said.
Five days later, Sikam made his debut in the first game of his career, scored 4 points and 9 rebounds, and then started 33 consecutive games.
Until Ujeri came over at the end of the day’s training, he said to him, “You are going to develop the league to play today.”
Sikam was wearing the 905 team jersey in resentment, sadness and confusion. He kept asking himself, “What am I doing wrong? Why should I treat me like this?”
But soon he was awake. “This is the lowest point in my life. There must always be such a moment in life. I have to come over.”
During the period from February to April, he was released 13 times, but only played 5 games on and off. In these 5 games, he averaged 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds. Almost every game is the best in the team. At the end of the season. The 905 team also sent him the season MVP trophy. This performance made Ujeri very satisfied. “I think he passed the test.”
He hasn’t returned to Cameroon for five years. On the night of May 10, 2017, he saw a call, showing the hair from him, and he suddenly panicked.
“Not a mother, not a mother,” he grabbed the phone in a hurry. “Your mother is fine,” a novel, “Fr. Collins, who was murdered.”
Shocked and embarrassed in the heart of Sikam, “I feel very sad, very guilty. Do you know? Some things I want to face Father Collins, I want to tell him I am sorry, thank you for always being full of hope for me, but I have no chance to talk to him face to face.”
I will always remember what the priest taught me. Sikam remembered in his heart. He took his mother to the side and played harder. The Rockets came to Toronto to play away. After the game, he asked Bamott to eat. He was also a childhood idol. He finally had a chance to talk about the things hidden in his heart, about Cameroon, about Dad, about the priest.
“It will be fine,” Bamot patted Sikakam’s shoulder. “You are great now.”
In Leonard’s trade, the Spurs chose Poltel as the winner of DeRozan, while Ujelli insisted on leaving Sikam, the new coach Nass formed a training camp before the start of the season, West Asia. Cam is the most active. At the end of the training camp, Nas said, “We have a new discovery, Pascal, he will be a blockbuster.”
Then, this is the magnificent season, Ujeri and Nass let him start, idol and big brother Ibaka became his backup. 18 double-doubles, 5 games 30+, for the Wizards game, he scored 44 points, the fastest player is almost the bag.
“I will think back to my seminary. Everything is not so good. I just read it because I respected my father, but now I understand him, where I learned all the knowledge and character that leads to success. It is equally important that his son become an upright person and make his son an NBA player.”
Starting from the university, he chose to wear the No. 43 jersey, representing Dad and three brothers, mother and two sisters. He points his hand to the sky before each game. “Dad, I know you will see it.”