Home » Missi becomes sixth Cameroonian drafted in the NBA

Missi becomes sixth Cameroonian drafted in the NBA

by Lesley Ngwa
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20-year-old Yves Missi has become the sixth Cameroonian to get selected into the NBA after the New Orleans Pelicans drafted him at the 21st position on the 2024 NBA Draft. The center walks in the path of Ruben Boumtje, Luc Mbah A Moute, Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam and Christian Koloko who have all gone on to have successful careers in the NBA.

Missi after Thursday morning’s draft becomes the second highest drafted Cameroonian in the NBA after Joel Embiid who came third in the 2014 draft.

Born in Belgium but groomed in Cameroon into a Cameroonian basketball royalty, Missi made a name for himself playing for Baylor University’s basketball team where he made history by becoming the first Baylor freshman to earn the 2023-24 All-Big 12 Defensive Team selection.

Born into a family of renowned basketballers, Missi’s love for sport revolved around football with the Cameroonian idolizing Lionel Messi and having a lot of admiration for Real Madrid’s Kylian Mbappe. His initial plans were to become a footballer before the family virus caught up with him.

Missi after Thursday morning’s draft becomes the second highest drafted Cameroonian in the NBA after Joel Embiid who came third in the 2014 draft.

Missi’s father, Jean-Paul Marie Missi an influential administrator who was Secretary General of the Ministry of Housing and has been General Manager of Credit Foncier du Cameroun since March 2012, was himself a renowned basketball player who captained Cameroon’s basketball team for several years. Missi’s mother, Annette was a center for Cameroon’s women’s basketball team going on as well to captain the side.

His older brother Steve Moundou-Missi was a three-time All-Ivy League Team selection at Harvard and the 2014-15 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and a Cameroon international.

A 6-foot-11 center with raw athleticism and a “7’2” wingspan, Missi is considered more of a talent for the future rather than an instant impact player. A big man who likes attacking the rim, the center’s scoring make him an important piece on offense for the Pels.

Missi who’s previously described himself as a “pretty good defender who can put the ball on the floor, drive, grab rebounds, with a decent foot work” will be hoping to light up the NBA and contribute to pushing a Pelicans roster that includes Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram further in next season’s playoffs after the side were swept 4-0 by OKC in the first round of the playoffs in the Western Conference.

There could be more hopes later tonight for Cameroonian basketball fans as two of their compatriots Ulrich Chomche and Jonathan Tchamwa will be hoping to go through in the second round of the draft.

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