The world will come alive as global stars assemble at the United Center in Chicago, while fans sit behind their television sets to witness the 2020 National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Stars games.
Amidst the glitz, glamour and music icons that will rock various stages, African potentials will be showcased, as Giannis Antetokounmpo, born in Greece to Nigerian parents, leads team Giannis to square of with team LeBron, led by LeBron James.
The Milwaukee Bucks-Greek professional basketball player and reigning NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) will be joined by two of his African brothers, Joel Embiid, and Pascal Siakam, both from Cameroon to play in the starting line-up for team Giannis.
Antetokounmpo’s starters will also include, Kemba Walker of Celtics and Trae Young, who plays for the Hawks.
The court will witness pace, skills, tactics, slams and dunks when the three African NBA players and two other team mates rub shoulders with LeBron’s team in a star-studded 2020 NBA All-Stars on Monday, February 17, where the 69th NBA All-Star game will end.
Africa’s potential will be on display during NBA All-Star Game https://t.co/cJI9qk6L9M— Tokyo Happenings (@TokyoHappenings) February 13, 2020
Antetokounmpo, the captain for the Eastern Conference received the Most Improved Player award in the 2017 NBA season, where he became the first player in NBA history to finish a regular season in the top 20 in all five statistics of total points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.
On October 24, 2018, Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists in a 123–108 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, helping the Bucks improve to 4–0 for the first time since the 2001–02 season.
It was his fourth straight 25-point, 15-rebound performance to start the season, becoming the first player since Wilt Chamberlain (in 1964–65 with the Philadelphia 76ers) to accomplish the feat.
Embiid on the other hand was drafted as the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, and has since received three All-Star selections.
On October 24, 2018, Embiid had 30 points and 19 rebounds in a 123–108 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, becoming the franchise’s first player to reach those marks in the same game since Charles Barkley did so in November 1991.
On 25 November 2019, Embiid grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds but went scoreless in an NBA game for the first time in his career in the 76ers’ 101–96 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
Pascal Siakam, also a Cameroonian basketball professional, plays for the Toronto Raptors and will also display his agility, swiftness as a power forward.
Signed by the Raptors on June 23, 2016, Siakam became the first rookie to start for the Raptors’ season-opener since Jonas Valančiūnas did so in 2012.
While heading into the 2018-19 campaign, Siakam emerged as a two-way force, and average 16.9 points a night to go along with 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
This season, Siakam recorded 34 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 block in 38 minutes played of the NBA’s opening game to help the Raptors beat the New Orleans Pelicans 130-122.
These three African talents will indeed be a sight to behold at the 2020 NBA All-Stars game in Chicago.