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May 19, 2022 | 2:24 pm EDT Update

Philadelphia City Council names Joel Embiid Most Valuable... Philadelphian

The Sixers ended their season in embarrassing fashion last week, stringing back-to-back uninspired efforts together to end their season in Round 2. Philadelphia City Council may have just managed to up the ante on how humiliating the season’s finish was. On Thursday morning, council members voted to pass a resolution naming Sixers center Joel Embiid the MVP, albeit a different title than the one he was actually fighting for, per the Inquirer’s Anna Orso, as Embiid was named Most Valuable Philadelphian.
It was an aspirational goal, but attainable. After all, plenty of Division II hoopers have gone on to have rewarding careers overseas. Maybe one day, Henshaw thought, Strus could even play at one of the top international leagues in Europe. The two kept shooting, and Henshaw didn’t think much of it. Then Strus kept shooting, and shooting, and shooting until, eight years after lighting up Division II scoreboards, he became a starting shooting guard in the NBA. Now the overlooked recruit from Southside Chicago who spent five years in college, was cut twice from NBA teams and tore his ACL before ever finding his footing in the league is playing a key role for the Miami Heat as they get set to face the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals. It’s hard to see any of it happening without the springboard of Division II basketball. “Great story,” said Scott Trost, his head coach at Lewis. “It’s not a common path.”
Given that Strus received just one Division I offer (Chicago State) coming out of high school in Palos Hills, Illinois, that confidence could have easily been filed under the category of “irrational.” But Strus buoyed that confidence with his relentless work ethic. To this day, former coaches and teammates wax poetic about Strus’s habits. Before one home game during Strus’s freshman year, Henshaw decided he was going to impress coaches by getting to the gym two hours early to warm up. “I walk into the gym and think I’m the first one,” Henshaw said. “I look over and Max is working out with one of our assistants, and Max has already broken a sweat. “His work ethic rubbed off on us.”