Joel Embiid is from Cameroon, so he speaks french very well. During the match between France and Croatia for FIBA World Cup, Embiid tweeted some french tweets to support France and so Nicolas Batum invited him to join France NT.
The basketball Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will soon be summoned for training camps and eventual friendly games ahead of the continental rendezvous. According to Alexi Siewe who is a basketball official in Cameroon, negotiations will be made with some newly appointed NBA professionals to ensure a fruitful performance this year. Some of the players include Mbah A Moute and Kadji who recently went professional. Cameroon appear determined for the title this year after falling several times in the final of the competition.
“It’s been ten years and I felt like I had to go back to Cameroon because now I’m a NBA player and not a little kid in middle school,” Batum said. “When I was 13, I had nice sneakers and video games and I remember how I felt seeing others with nothing. I grew up understanding how lucky I was. But, at some point, I think I forgot and that’s why I decided to go back and see how my family was doing and see what I could do to help them. “You know people say I’m French because my mom is French and I was born in France; I grew up there and everything, but my dad was born and raised in Africa and I have family, uncles, cousins and everything there. I’m from Africa, too.”
Batum says he sat in astonishment, listening to each young woman’s life story. “I was just shocked how 14-year old girls were raising their brothers and sisters,”Batum said. “They couldn’t even go to school because they had to work. I told them, ‘You are part of this world, too. You can become something in society.’ But, mostly I just listened.” After hearing all of those painful stories, Batum said he stayed awake for hours that night writing out a list of ways he might be able to be of some assistance. However, he said it was frustrating trying to come up with something.
Batum boarded the plane headed back to Paris and realized something…he didn’t think about basketball for four days. That new-found appreciation and perspective on life is exactly what he needed at that time in his life. “I forgot about the NBA, I forgot about basketball, I forgot about my contract situation,” Batum said. “I forgot about everything, I was home. My dad was there and my grandparents were there. I was in peace. I was focused on how I can help them. I wasn’t a French guy, I was a Cameroon guy.”