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Pascal Siakam: First Cameroonian to win an NBA championship

Oakland (United States) (AFP) – Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam celebrated his first NBA title with the flag of his homeland, Cameroon, draped over his shoulders and hopes to inspire the NBA dreams of young Africans.

Siakam is living that fantasy after the Raptors beat Golden State 114-110 to win the best-of-seven NBA Finals 4-2.

“It’s a dream,” Siakam said. “And it feels amazing to be able to realize your dreams.”

He also wants to set an example for any African teens who follow in his footsteps.

“That’s one of the reasons why I’m here and I have this flag representing Cameroon and Africa,” the 25-year-old playmaker said. “As a kid I didn’t have the opportunity to dream about this moment. I didn’t think I could make it. I didn’t think this was possible.

“And I think a lot of kids don’t think it’s possible. Just me being able to be here and telling them that, ‘Hey, look at me, I was a little scrawny kid from Cameroon and I couldn’t even think about this moment but here I am as a champion.’

“And I just want to tell them that it’s possible and that if you believe in something, go out there and work hard for it. It might sound cliche, but it’s the truth. I’m the proof.”

Siakam attended a Basketball Without Borders camp and moved to the US at age 16. In 2016 he was taken by Toronto with the 27th pick in the NBA Draft.

With Congolese-born teammate Serge Ibaka talking to him for defensive plans in French and then to Marc Gasol in Spanish, having been Gasol’s teammate on Spain’s national squad, the global nature of the lineup brings something special to the dynamic of the only team from outside the United States to win an NBA crown.

“It meant a lot. Just having guys from different countries and speaking different languages, I think it got us closer together,” Siakam said.

“And you kind of have all those little kind of friendship with guys that you can speak the same language with, and from Spanish to French to English, different cultures. And I think kind of it represents Toronto in general, having that diversity.”

Gasol joined his brother Pau, who helped the Los Angeles Lakers win two NBA titles, as a champion.

“It means the world,” Gasol said. “I’ve been floating for the past couple hours. I’m thrilled. I’m very happy that we won. I’m so excited. It’s just a special, special feeling.

“I’m so happy we got it because everyone in Toronto and Canada deserves this, because they fought for it. I’m sure the Jurassic Park is going a little crazy.”

As Ibaka put it: “This is for Canada, baby. You should be proud.”

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  1. Great job Siakam!!! I was up all night watching, rooting for the Raptors and listening to your post match interview. Having your country flag and stating that your represent Cameroon and all of Africa was priceless. Good job!
    Cameroon has about 4 players in the NBA out of about 460 in the league. That’s a gift for a country without infrastructure or investment in the sport and with a historically corrupt Ministry of Sports.

  2. Camer beleiver (Colby)

    These are the “diasporans”we like not empty vessels running smelly mouths from beer parlours and financing terrorists to destroy an already weak cameroon.

    • Siakam is a big supporter and sponsor of BAS! There’s nothing you or anyone can do about it. Wicked genocidal wizards.

      • Camer beleiver (Colby)

        @Dot the Coward terrorist you have no proof of what you are saying dumbest of your kind are more likely to spread idiocies just to bring anyone who wants to raise the cameroon flag high as you have failed in all aspects of life you now try to denigrate this young compatriot who I know could be your son lazy drunkard…

  3. Congratulations to the Young Man. He worked extremely hard and realized his dream. Many of us here in diaspora are not abel to bost of any accomplishment. True talk

  4. Congratulations Pascal for a great achievement.
    We are happy for you above all we are happy that your talent and hard work alone not your tribe, your last name, if you speak French or English or your place of origin was the reason you are a champion today.
    There are many who deny that we are very limited in our ability to build the best in us, you are a good example of how the whiteman promotes excellence in our children.
    For all those who doubt, in the west talent and hard work will get you a well deserved recognition and you don’t have to bribe, lie or sleep with anyone to get there.
    So if you have to make it through the jungles of South America or Mexico to the north just keep trying.
    Those dinosaurs in that place will kill all your dreams if you don’t exit quick.

  5. Go Soicy P, We the North. Barely 3 years in the NBA and you already have a ring. What an achievement. I guess Mbappe is very angry as you are graffi. See you in the parade on Monday.

    • Ignoramus take it easy.
      He is a graffi.
      No need to check his name.
      I am a big basketball fan and I have been in a few raptors game.

      Congrats to Siakam.
      My team is OKC

  6. Go Spicy P.

  7. Pourquoi vous les Ambazoniens voulez toujours tout salir?
    Voici un vrai Camerounais. Representant le vert rouge jaune au sommet du basketball NBA!
    Le gars est parfaitement bilingue comme @Bikutsi.
    Bravo Pascal. Merci de représenter valablement notre beau pays.

    NB: He is wearing the green, red and yellow flag on his sholders.

    • Kikikiki Bikut!

      L’enemie et ses acolytes sont maintenant derrière BOKO.

      @Wandy parle toujours d’une victoire, kikikikiki.

      Voici un mouna moto qui est entrain de mouiller le vert, rouge et jaune, tant dit que @Wandy mouille les ptes gigi au Maryland.

      Le pire c’est mm qu’il boit ttes ces gigi à crédit chez Mukong—Mukong a mm déjà fermé son cahier de crédits…

      • Lol ZZ
        Des vrais totos quoi…
        Ils sont tellement bêtes qu’ils ne se rendent pas compte qu’on les fey en plein jours…
        Si moi meme j’avais ce coeur là, j’allais bien les fey..
        Des gens betes coe cà…

  8. Great job Siakam!!!! You fought hard and valiantly.

    To all those who quickly engage in vitriol on this forum, it is a big shame that even sports becomes divisive. Bare in mind that Biya stands to gain when Cameroonians stands against one another.
    To the Ambazonians, there’s little evidence that should you become a country there won’t be another dictatorship. Where do you go then?

    To those who support the Biya REGIME, bear in mind that his governing style & dictatorship like many around the world created the avenue for the state of Cameroon in general. Locking up dissidents & political opponents gets you the kind of country we have.

    Biya is preparing the stage for his son who leaves ENAM this year, your next president. Biya will run again at 94 because he has enablers who say he can.

  9. Spicy P. The most popular Cameroonian on earth. Nobody knows who they call Paul Biya in North America. WE THE NORTH.

    • Are you serious?
      I love the guy, but to cll him the most known Cameroonian is a stretch don’t you think?
      Outside North America I am not sure he is known.
      But I know why you bring BIYA in here for no reason.
      You are part of the cult.

      • I am not part of any cult @ Mbappe. I love my country Cameroon and this idiots who call themselves Ambazonia and the corrupt Biya regime have to be eradicated for Cameroon to progress like Ethiopia and Ghana. Tribalism doesn’t help. I am a Santa free born mvog Fouda from Nnom Ayos. I love Cameroon and all I want is the best for Cameroon. Right whether you like it or not mongo nglefis Pascal Siakam is the most popular Cameroonian on earth. Nobody knows Paul Biya where I live. All they know is Samuel Et’o, Roger Milla, Pascal Siakam and Joel embiiid.

        • That’s the message. I agree that Biya set the stage for things to get this bad and Amba has not made things better. Biya wanted to be the only beloved dictator but locking up Kamto exposes him to the world just like he did with teachers and lawyers. A bad legacy and an evil dotard. He failed and Cameroon failed a long time ago. At his age, there’s no redo, no make over. Time has caught up with him in the middle of the road. Can’t have his French boss visit him, can’t invite the Pope, everywhere he goes, his people are in protest (except for paid CPDM moneygrubbers).
          There are a lot of competent Cameroonians even within his failed CPDM and a lot more sane Cameroonians who can govern but the infidel won’t let up. An authentic neanderthal.

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