Femi ‘Bam’ Adebayo is closer to becoming a USA Men’s Basketball Team player than he would ever consider suiting up for Nigeria at international level.
Last year the Miami Heat Center was dropped from during tryouts for the USA World Cup team to China by Head Coach Greg Popovich because, “he wasn’t quite ready” the Vet Coach explained.
The 22 year-old averaged just 8.9 points (3.4 FGM) and was averaging 73.5% from the free throw line making 2.0 points. His Game off the board was also not so encouraging although he was coming off his rookie season.
All of that seems to have changed now and it is all due to a number of factors, perhaps including the addition of Jimmy Butler to the Heat roster.
He is averaging 15.8 points in 39 games played so far this season with the Heat second in the East.
Although he has not been officially approached by the NBBF to represent Nigeria, the player is more likely now to get another look in from the US team.
The University of Kentucky grad posted a double double (16 pts and 13 reb) in the 106-100 road win over Spurs on Thursday Morning.
After the game Pop opened up on his encounter with the player during the USBMNT camp in 2019, per Tim Reynolds [AP].
Pop on Bam, who was cut by USA Basketball last summer: “He’s actually, from what I see, he’s a different player now that he was when we had the tryouts. In general, when I said he wasn’t quite ready, he didn’t show what he can really do.” (more)
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) January 15, 2020
“He’s actually, from what I see, he’s a different player now that he was when we had the tryouts. In general, when I said he wasn’t quite ready, he didn’t show what he can really do.”[sic]
“I think that was maybe a product of the guys that he was around. He was in a different environment.
“He probably deferred more than he needed to. Maybe he was a little unsure of himself, that kind of thing. If that same tryout was today, he’d look a lot differently at it.”
“Now that you see him during the season, I’ve shaken my head several times. That’s not the guy that we saw during the tryout.”
“Maybe that was my fault. Maybe I should have done it differently so his skills could come out.”