The Kentucky Wildcats have been able to establish one of the premier training grounds for NBA players.
Top-tier talents like Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, and Bam Adebayo have come through Lexington, and that’s just a handful of the talent the program has seen over the years.
However, while the on-court attributes are what get most players noticed, for Bam Adebayo, he’s been able to do just as much off the court. That’s why the NBA has named him a finalist for the 2022-2023 NBA Sportsmanship Award.
Here’s the tweet announcing the 6 players.
The finalists for the 2022-23 NBA Sportsmanship Award.— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) April 3, 2023
The annual honor recognizes the player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court. Current NBA players will select the winner from these six finalists (one finalist from each NBA division). pic.twitter.com/RNVloxlvA4
Here’s a breakdown of what Adebayo has been able to accomplish while not playing basketball, per Kentucky Sports Radio’s Zack Geoghegan.
“Off the court, Adebayo has been known to embrace community involvement during his time in Miami, starting the Bam, Books, & Brotherhood foundation, which strives to help single mothers in need. The organization also offers scholarships, basketball clinics, back-to-school drives, and much more. This doesn’t exactly have anything to do with his sportsmanship as a basketball player, but it shows just how kind-hearted Adebayo truly is,” Geoghegan wrote.
Having made his second appearance in the All-Star Game this season as well, Adebayo’s on-court showing has been equally as impressive.
He’s averaging 20.7 points per game, the most of his career, to go along with 9.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He’s also been one of the best defensive bigs in the league since entering six years ago. Adebayo is averaging 1.2 steals and .8 blocks per game.
The 6-foot-9 center has helped transform the way teams play and how they view the modern-day big man. He’ll continue to do just that while being an important role model away from basketball as well.