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Kings’ Skal Labissiere rises from ruins of Haiti to NBA | The Sacramento Bee


Labissiere, who was selected 28th overall and acquired in a draft-day trade with the Phoenix Suns, gave up soccer and volleyball for a game he loved and believed would lead to a lucrative job in the NBA. So far, he is right about the lucrative job. Rookie contracts are the envy of every working stiff.

But the other part of the blueprint? When does anything go according to plan?

His journey to America began months after the earthquake, which left Labissiere, then 13, trapped for hours before rescuers removed the debris that immobilized his lower legs, causing numbness and leading to weeks of recovery. The family moved into the school where his mother, Ema, taught kindergarten while the home was restored. His father, Lesly, an entrepreneur, rebuilt his business from scratch.Skal, the oldest of the three Labissiere children, continued his pursuit of attending high school in the United States to increase his odds of playing for a major college program and, ultimately, in the NBA.

But what a trip. Different schools. Several coaches. Prep eligibility issues. Questionable influences and the always messy Amateur Athletic Union circuit. A language barrier. And a plummeting ranking as a NBA prospect. And the kid is only 20.

Source:  The Sacramento Bee

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