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Neemias Queta – the first Portuguese and Bissau-Guinean player in the NBA

Born in 1999, Neemias Queta became the first player representing Portugal in the NBA. He signed with the Sacramento Kings a two-way contract which meant that he will split his time between the team and their affiliate from the NBA G League. Queta didn’t get the chance to show his style in the first months this season, but on December 17, 2021, he made his debut for the Kings.

Sacramento are quite shorthanded at the moment due to an increase number in Covid-19 cases. He snatched this opportunity and played 7:44 minutes against the Grizzlies. Queta contributed with 5 rebounds, 1 assists, and 1 block which are some decent numbers. However, he went for 0-4 from the field as the team lost by 9 points when he was on the court.

Neemias Queta also has Bissau-Guinean roots as his parents Mica and Djaneuba Queta were born in the West African country. Later on, they emigrated to Portugal, settling in Barreiro. His early life was full of compromises and struggles, but he made it to the Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol, playing for Benfica at 18 years of age. The Portuguese didn’t wait for a second chance as he signed with the Utah State Aggies in the NCAA. The best was yet to come.

The 22-year-old developed himself as a great defensive player who is quite dangerous in the paint. Queta became a record-holder for most blocks in Utah State’s history. In his junior year, the young Bissau-Guinean averaged his first double-double throughout the whole season in the NCAA. He wrapped up the year with 14.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game. These numbers simply speak for themselves.

Queta ranked third in blocks per game which drew some attention from the NBA. His ability to defend the basket was recognized on National level as he regularly averaged double-double for Portugal. Neemias Queta is surely a gifted player who has the physical attributes to dominate in the paint. His 7’00” height, combined with 248 lbs, bless him with all the right proportions to become one of the most unstoppable centers in the NBA one day.

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