Pascal Siakam (born 2 April 1994) is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Pascal Siakam played college basketball for the New Mexico State Aggies and was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2016.
|No. 43 – Toronto Raptors|
|Born||2 April 1994 (age 27)
|Listed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||230 lb (104 kg)|
|High school||God’s Academy (Lewisville, Texas)|
|College||New Mexico State (2014–2016)|
|NBA draft||2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27th overall|
|Selected by the Toronto Raptors|
Siakam was born in Douala, Cameroon, to Tchamo and Victorie Siakam, the youngest of four brothers. His father, Tchamo, worked for a local transit company and was also the mayor of Makénéné. According to a story by Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, Pascal was effectively “hand-picked to embody his family’s Catholicism.” His father thus enrolled him in St. Andrew’s Seminary in Bafia at age eleven. The academic star of the family, Siakam originally wanted to become a Catholic priest; but by age fifteen, he had a change of heart.
He was discovered as a player at a local camp by Luc Mbah a Moute, whose parents’ home in Bafia was about 2 miles (3 km) from St. Andrew’s. Siakam attended Mbah a Moute’s camp for the first time in 2011, a year before graduating from St. Andrew’s.
With Mbah a Moute as a mentor, Siakam moved to the United States at the age of eighteen. He went from one camp to the next to hone his skills before settling in Lewisville, Texas, and attending God’s Academy.
While at this prep school, Siakam was neither widely known nor initially eligible. But he was at least pursued by New Mexico State University; the Aggies’ coach had Siakam on his radar since his pipeline of connections spanned several continents and his roster reserved fourteen spots for foreign-born players.
Siakam is the son of Tchamo Siakam, the former mayor of Makénéné, Cameroon, and Victorie Siakam. His father died in a car crash in October 2014. To this day, one of Siakam’s greatest regrets is that he was unable to attend his father’s funeral because it occurred while he was waiting for the issuance of a new US visa. His three older brothers, Boris, Christian, and James, all played NCAA Division I basketball in the United States—Boris at Western Kentucky, Christian at IUPUI, and James at Vanderbilt. Siakam goes by the nickname “Spicy P”.
Siakam enrolled at New Mexico State University in 2013. After red-shirting the 2013–14 season due to injury, he worked his way onto the Aggies’ starting lineup and then to Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Freshman of the Year honors by the 2014–15 campaign.
For the 2015–16 campaign, he averaged 20.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks across 34 games en route to earning unanimous WAC Player of the Year honors. On 19 April 2016, Siakam declared for the NBA draft, forgoing his final two years of college eligibility.
Toronto Raptors (2016–present)
Siakam was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the 27th overall pick in the NBA draft, with the franchise signing him to a rookie scale contract on 9 July, 2016. On 2 October, he became the first rookie to start for the Raptors’ season-opener since Jonas Valančiūnas did so in 2012.
In his second year in the NBA, Siakam cemented himself as a productive bench contributor for Toronto. He recorded a then career-high 20 points during a 117–112 loss to the Golden State Warriors on 25 October 2017.
Heading into the 2018-19 campaign, Siakam emerged as a two-way force, and he would average 16.9 points a night to go along with 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists; he would also make a marked improvement in shooting from distance, increasing his three-point percentage by 14 points to 36 percent.
On 1 December, 2019 Siakam scored 35 points in a 130–110 win over the Utah Jazz. On 23 January 2020, Siakam was selected to his first career All-Star nod, being named a starter in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.
On 6 January 2021, Siakam scored a season-high 32 points in a 123–115 loss against the Phoenix Suns. On 8 January, Siakam had 17 points, nine rebounds, and A career-high 12 assists in a 144–123 win against the Sacramento Kings
|Career highlights and awards|
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