Kenneth Faried is no stranger to adversity. Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, Faried turned to basketball as a means of staying out of trouble. His talent and dedication to the game opened doors for him. His skills took him to Morehead State, where he was a standout. At Morehead Faried’s on court tenacity helped him become the Division I career record holder, surpassing Tim Duncan’s previous record, with his rebounding mark of 1,570 rebounds.
Faried was drafted with the 22nd pick by the Denver Nuggets in 2011, but was limited in his impact. This was largely due to the presence of Nene, the shot blocking forward-center from Brazil. However, since Nene has been traded to the Washington Wizards, Faried has taken his game to the next level. Since that time, he has been voted player of the week and most recently was voted the MVP of the 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge where he recorded a double-double with 40 points on 18-for-22 shooting and 10 rebounds.
He also dazzled the crowd during the dunk contest.
The dunk was a 10, and Faried’s style and thankfulness bodes well for his future as a crowd pleaser in the NBA. As he told the NY Times in 2011,
“I’m extremely thankful,” Faried said of the past year. “You think you have a plan, but God — well, I’m Muslim — Allah has a different plan.”