Sixers center Joel Embiid has right combination to take over the world

Sixers center Joel Embiid has right combination to take over the world

The Sixers have had many transcendent basketball players suit up for the organization over the years. Far too many to name in this space.

That has also included some of the NBA’s biggest personalities. Think Allen Iverson and Charles Barkley.

Now think about this: Joel Embiid has the chance to be bigger than them all.

For evidence, start with Embiid’s impact last week during the league’s latest Basketball Without Borders stop in Africa. 

Sure, the Cameroon native stole the show back on his home continent as he displayed just how far he has come since being a Basketball Without Borders camper in 2011. Embiid scored a game-high 24 points on 9 for 18 shooting to go with eight rebounds and four assists in the NBA Africa Game.

But taking part in the event had much deeper meaning for the Sixers’ All-Star center.

“Yeah, it's fun for me. I think as long as God allows me, as long as my schedule allows me, that's something I want to do every year, just come back and give back,” Embiid said, per KweséESPN deputy editor Lindsay du Plessis.

“When I was in that situation, I felt great being among NBA players. I wanted to learn from them. I wanted to touch them because I was so amazed by them.

“… It's also a way for me to grow the game of basketball in Africa. I feel like we have a lot of talent, undiscovered talent, that can have a chance just like I did. They just need an opportunity.”

With an entire continent behind him, Embiid is set to pounce on his own opportunity to become one of the world’s most recognizable faces in sports. 

The charismatic 24-year-old is already the ultimate social media maven. He’s graced the cover of NBA Live 19 The ONE Edition and shown off his love for video games even more by signing on as the gaming headset ambassador for HyperX. Embiid has also previously appeared in a Jolly Ranchers ad and made a cameo in the latest star-studded Madden NFL 19 commercial. Plus, the big man could set off a bidding war when his current sneaker deal expires.

“For brands like Puma, New Balance and Nike, there's an intrigue in Embiid's on- and off-court skills that could land him one of the highest shoe deal offers of this class,” ESPN’s Nick DePaula said last month. “Wherever he lands — don't rule out a return to Adidas either — he'll be sure to let you know, in his own unpredictable and hilarious way.”

First up for Embiid was winning over Philadelphia. Then he set his sights on giving back to Africa. Next up: take over the world.

The good news for Sixers fans is that Embiid understands his global imprint won’t become a complete reality unless he does his work on the court … where he truly expects to dominate the most.

“I want to win the MVP because if I play better the stats show my team plays better too,” Embiid said during a workout prior to the NBA Africa Game. "That’s a goal. I’ve got to set the bar high if you want to go somewhere.”

Forget somewhere. Embiid has the talent and personality that can take him everywhere.

More on the Sixers

Jerryd Bayless, Sixers staff part of 1st Basketball Without Borders in Israel

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Jerryd Bayless, Sixers staff part of 1st Basketball Without Borders in Israel

The Sixers will be represented when the NBA holds its first Basketball Without Borders camp in Israel this month. 

Guard Jerryd Bayless, vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley and international scout Marin Sedlacek are among those participating in the camp, which will take place in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and at The Wingate Institute in Netanya Aug. 13-16.

Bayless, along with current and former NBA and FIBA players including Hall of Famer David Robinson, will coach the campers. Sedlacek will be one of the directors. 

The camp will host the top 62 under-17 boys and girls from 22 countries. This is the 16th Basketball Without Borders Europe. Last year, Bayless was part of the program in Finland. 

“I think it’s important to open your horizons,” Bayless said following the trip. “When you go overseas and you see these different places, it opens your eyes to the world and all these different cultures.”

Bayless will not be the first Sixer to share in international basketball camps this summer. Joel Embiid participated in the NBA Africa Game 2017.

Joel Embiid among several NBA players to participate in Basketball without Borders

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Joel Embiid among several NBA players to participate in Basketball without Borders

Joel Embiid is giving back, joining several NBA players for the Basketball without Borders camp in Africa.

The NBA and FIBA will host 80 boys and girls ages 17 and under from 26 African countries, including Embiid's native Cameroon. It'll be the 15th edition of Basketball without Borders.

The camp will be held from Aug. 2 to Aug. 5 at the American International School of Johannesburg, culminating with the NBA Africa Game 2017 at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa. The exhibition pits Team Africa, which includes players born in Africa and second-generation African players, against players from the rest of the world.

It's already been announced that Embiid is on the roster, but not playing, for Team Africa. Embiid, 23, missed the final 37 games of the 2016-17 season with a knee injury. His first NBA season came after he missed the first two years of his career with a foot injury.

There will be a heavy local vibe at BWB this year. Embiid will be joined by assistant coach Lloyd Pierce as well as former Sixers Bruce Bowen, Elton Brand and fellow Cameroonian Luc Mbah a Moute. Philly native Kyle Lowry and Chester native Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will also be there. 

Future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki and budding star Kristaps Porzingis will also be among the players on hand.