Childhood & Early Life
Joel Embiid was born on March 16, 1994, to military officer, Thomas Embiid, and his wife, Christine Embiid, in Yaoundé, Cameroon. His father was also into sports and played handball.
Joel Embiid was discovered by Luc Mbah a Moute, another Cameroon native and an NBA player, at a basketball camp in the country. Embiid moved to the US at the age of 16 taking Moute as his mentor.
He attended The Rock School in Gainesville, Florida, transferring from Montverde Academy, citing lack of playing time. His mentor, Luc Mbah a Moute, was an alma mater at Montverde Academy.
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Joel Embiid attended the University of Kansas, where he played for Kansas Jayhawks for the 2013–14 season. In the season, he played 28 games, in which he averaged 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 1.4 assists, and 11.2 points.
He was given the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors and was also made a part of the second team of All-Big 12. He, however, missed the Big 12 tournament as well as the NCAA Tournament due to an injury.
Joel Embiid declared for the 2014 NBA Draft on April 9, 2014. He was selected for the third overall pick by Philadelphia 76ers six days after his declaration.
He signed a rookie contract with the 76ers on August 26, 2014. Owing to an injury, he missed the 2014-15 season. Further, as his recuperation process failed to meet expectations and that he had to undergo another surgery, he missed out on the 2015-16 season as well.
Embiid made his first appearance for the 76ers on October 4, 2016, against Boston Celtics in the first preseason game. His team won the game 92–89, in which he made four rebounds, two blocks, and six points.
He made his debut for the 76ers in the regular NBA season on October 26, 2016, against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Although his team lost the match 103–97, Embiid made two blocks, seven rebounds, and 20 points.
The 76ers announced on February 11, 2017, that Embiid has suffered an injury on his left knee. However, the team said surgery will not be needed. Later, it was revealed that the earlier injury was serious and that he would miss out on the rest of the 2016–17 season.
In the next season, Joel Embiid signed a five-year deal with the 76ers on October 10, 2017, in a $148-million rookie scale maximum contract extension. As per the contract, he could earn an additional $30 million if he made the All-NBA first, second, the third team, or was named MVP in 2017–18.
He debuted in the playoffs on April 19, 2018, against Miami Heats. The game ended with the 76ers beating Miami Heats 128–108, with Embiid scoring 23 points. He had missed the first two playoffs due to an injury on his left eye.
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In the 2018–19 season, he scored 19 rebounds and 30 points against Milwaukee Bucks, making him the team’s first to achieve these stats since Charles Barkley’s score in November 1991. Philadelphia 76ers, however, lost the game 123–108.
He is one of the seven players to have 200 blocks, 1,000 rebounds, and 2,000 points in their first 100 games. Other players to achieve this feat include Shaquille O'Neal, David Robinson, Ralph Sampson, among others.
Apart from Wilt Chamberlain, he is the only other person from the Philadelphia 76ers to have multiple triple-doubles in one season.
Awards & Achievements
Joel Embiid was named in the World Team for the 2017 Rising Stars Challenge on January 25, 2017.
He has made the All-NBA Second Team twice, in 2018 and 2019. He also made it to the All-Defensive Second Team for the same years.
He was also in the All-Rookie 1st Team for 2017.
He was a starter in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, making him the first player from Philadelphia to do so since the 2009–10 season when Allen Iverson was named a starter.
Family & Personal Life
Joel Embiid is dating Anne de Paula, a Brazilian model, since 2018. He confirmed the relationship in October 2018.
Embiid’s younger brother, Arthur Embiid, died in a car accident on October 16, 2014, in Cameroon. He has another sibling, a younger sister Muriel.