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Cameroon’s Joel Embiid Bids To Take Over The NBA

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Cameroon's Joel Embiid Bids To Take Over The NBA

Professional basketball is starting up again in the United States, with the 2018-19 season stretching out ahead. Basketball fans around the world will be turning their eyes to America, where the best players not just from the U.S. but from all around the world compete in a league that seems to be gaining popularity with each passing year.

The NBA has long had ties to the African continent. A majority of the players are African-American, and in recent years in particular the league has done regular outreach around Africa during its offseason. Right now, however, there are relatively few NBA players who actually hail from Africa. There is, however, one such player who figures to have about as big an impact on the NBA season as any other player: Cameroonian native Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Embiid has had a fascinating journey in basketball so far. He moved to the United States at the age of 16 to go to school in Florida and concentrate on ascending to the professional ranks. A few years later and after a single season at Kansas University (one of the strongest schools in America for basketball), Embiid was drafted to the NBA to play for the Philadelphia 76ers. And while his career was slow to get off the ground due to injuries, Embiid proved himself enough to earn a five-year, $148 million contract heading into the 2017-18 season. During that season, he played at an All-Star level and helped to put Philadelphia on the map as one of the league’s true up-and-coming teams.

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Because of his performance last season, Embiid is in the talks for league MVP as the 2018-19 season starts up. Sports betting still isn’t a huge business in the U.S., and the markets tend to focus on a select handful of sports internationally that include football, horse racing, and tennis. But you can still find odds for NBA action because of the league’s global popularity, and if you were to peruse them right now you’d see him near the top of the ranks for MVP. Only a few players – LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Anthony Davis for instance – are definitively viewed as more likely to win the league’s top individual honor.

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On top of the individual accolades Embiid is looking to collect, he’ll also be leading a roster of young 76ers players who are expected to vie for a place in the Eastern Conference Finals. While the Boston Celtics are widely viewed as the conference’s strongest team, Philadelphia is seen as having a real chance of pushing through and getting to the NBA Finals, where anything is possible. It’s been a long process for this team to reach a level like this, and Embiid has the responsibility of trying to finish the job.

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Additionally, as if all of the challenges and possibilities on the basketball court aren’t enough, Embiid is also publicly challenging the common notion that bigger players don’t sell shoes. Because smaller players tend to be flashier and more relatable to fans, they’re the ones that have always had successful shoe deals. However, Embiid has spoken to the fact that he finds this ridiculous, and recently secured a major deal with Under Armour. Through this deal, the Cameroonian big man could just conquer the league insofar as it extends to the apparel markets as well.

To say Joel Embiid is the face of the NBA would be dramatic. But he’s on his way to being in that conversation.

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AFCON Qualifier: Super Eagles Beat Seychelles 3-1

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AFCON Qualifier: Super Eagles Beat Seychelles 3-1

The Super Eagles on Friday defeated the Pirates of Seychelles in their last group Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba. The encounter ended 3-1 in favour of the host, Nigeria. The Super Eagles finished top  of Group E with 13 points.

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Nigeria have already qualified for the AFCON in Egypt after they were held to a 1-1 by South Africa in Johannesburg last November.

Libya will host South Africa on Sunday in the last game of the group. The Bafana Bafana are currently sitting second in the group with nine points followed by Libya with seven points.

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Seychelles ended their AFCON qualifying campaign with just one point.

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FIFA Bans Togolese Referee For Life Over Corruption Charges

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FIFA Bans Togolese Referee For Life

FIFA has banned for life Togolese referee and football official Kokou Fagla after finding him guilty of corruption.

Football’s world governing body ruled he accepted bribes to manipulate an unspecified international friendly.

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The findings came from FIFA’s investigation into various international matches that convicted match-fixer Wilson Perumal tried to manipulate for betting purposes.

Fagla has been “banned for life from all football-related activities at both national and international level.”   a three-thousand- dollar fine has also been slapped on him.

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South Africa 2020: Nigeria U-19 Cricket Team Close To Qualification

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South Africa 2020: Nigeria U-19 Cricket Team Close To Qualification

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