Right before Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals was played in Portland, ESPN released an interview with Enes Kanter about his celebration of Ramadan in the playoffs with Doris Burke.
As you may know, Kanter has criticized the Turkish government the recent year to the point that the FBI has given him a panic button to keep at his bedside as a precaution for an emergency. Here is Mrs. Tyler Thompson’s article from KSR if you want to find more information.
Although not welcomed by his own country, Kanter finds a way to celebrate his Muslim faith through Ramadan.
As a Christian, I do not celebrate the religious holiday of Ramadan but I got the chance to talk to a friend who does and sent he me this link about what Ramadan is and how he celebrates the religious holiday.
Here is some information about Ramadan
Ramadan is a Muslim holy month this year that starts on Sunday, May 5th and runs through Tuesday, June 4th. During this month, people who celebrate the religious holiday fast from dawn to sunset. In the interview, Kanter talks about how he practices his faith during this month.
The interview goes more in depth about what he did to celebrate Ramadan and still play in the playoffs. Keep in mind that Kanter suffered a separated shoulder in the playoffs and had to refrain from using medicine during his fast.
Kanter is not the first player in the NBA where the month of Ramadan has bled over into the Playoffs.
Also, in the interview, Kanter discusses his influences from Hakeem Olajuwon – about what he did to have success in the playoffs and still practice his faith.
Here is what he said about what Olajuwon told him; “Keep focusing on what you do… Inspire others.”
As the fasting starts on May 5th and lasts to June 4th this year, for Kanter that meant it bled over to his play in the NBA playoffs with the Portland Trail Blazers.
During that time of the playoffs, Kanter averaged; 24 minutes per game, 9 rebounds, per game, 1 assist per game, 7.1 points per game.
Stats provided by Basketball-Reference.
Enes Kanter’s birthday was also yesterday. Happy Birthday Enes and congratulations on your run through the NBA playoffs this year!