Toronto, Canada, Jun 5, 2019 / 11:00 am
When Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam enters Game 3 of the NBA Finals Wednesday night, he will cross himself and then point upward to the sky. The cross will be to help him remember to give glory to God. The finger point will be for his dad.
Siakam is not like most NBA players. He's played basketball for only nine years. He grew up preferring soccer. And when he first put on a jersey to shoot hoops, Siakam was a seminarian in Cameroon.
Siakam was a reluctant seminarian. At 11, he began St. Andrew's Seminary School in Bafia, Cameroon, because his father wanted him to go. He never considered defying his father, who, Siakam told ESPN last year, was the best man he had ever known.
But Siakam was reluctant enough about attending seminary that he made a habit of breaking the rules, hoping the seminary's director, Father Armel Collins Ndjama, would dismiss him.