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Stop what you’re doing and read this profile of Bam Adebayo

© Brad Penner

© Brad Penner

On Sunday, Bam Adebayo will play in his first NBA All-Star Game, the culmination of a lifelong dream and a lot of hard work. This morning, ESPN’s Zach Lowe posted an excellent feature on Bam’s journey to the spotlight that’s worth your time.

As Kentucky fans, we are all familiar with Bam’s childhood growing up in a trailer in North Carolina and how his mother, Marilyn Blount, worked at a meat farm to make ends meet. His year at Kentucky was aimed at getting to the NBA so he could change his mother’s life. As Lowe writes, Bam’s desire to provide for his mom turned into a relentless work ethic that pushed him to playing at an All-Star level. While most of the profile talks about Bam’s NBA career, there are some great gems from Kenny Payne and De’Aaron Fox about his time in Lexington.

Adebayo worked on other skills after practices and in night sessions with Kenny Payne, a Kentucky assistant. “He wanted to be a guard so badly,” De’Aaron Fox, Adebayo’s teammate at Kentucky, says with a laugh. “He also went to every class — a lot more than I did.”

Adebayo’s speed and fundamentals on defense leapt out in games. He trusted Calipari, trusted scouts would see his ball skills in practice and grab intel from Payne.

“He would say, ‘My mom will no longer live like this,'” Payne says.

Adebayo won over some executives at the draft combine with his single-minded focus. He had a line ready when teams asked about off-court interests: “I play basketball, hang out with my mom, and take s—-.” Some executives cackled at Adebayo’s deadpan delivery.

For more, including the one item Bam — who is fiercely frugal — recently splurged on, head on over to the Worldwide Leader.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

5 Comments for Stop what you’re doing and read this profile of Bam Adebayo

  1. 4everUKBlue
    10:50 am February 13, 2020 Permalink

    What a great success story, so happy for Bam and his mom.

  2. Buttons96
    12:28 pm February 13, 2020 Permalink

    Wow, that was a great article! Thanks for posting it.

  3. RealCatsFan
    1:17 pm February 13, 2020 Permalink

    What an awesome story! So deserving! I hope his mom gets her dream house in both Greesnboro and Kentucky.

    The only change I would have liked to have seen with the story is if that Luke Maye shot had rimmed out so that Bam could have experienced a Final Four and maybe a Championship at UK. Of course, certain commenters on here would say that championships at UK are the ONLY thing that matters. A guy like Bam using his experiences with Cal and KP at UK to make the big time in the NBA just shouldn’t matter to a true UK fan, right? 😉

  4. StuckinLville
    1:31 pm February 13, 2020 Permalink

    Bam is and always will be one of my favorites.

  5. RexRox
    12:19 am February 14, 2020 Permalink

    Great story! Here’s wishing Bam a long career in the NBA. Very deserving!