Pascal Siakam will make his NBA All-Star game debut this weekend, a moment that he says will “mean everything” given his unorthodox path to the league and the hard work it has taken to get him to this point.
Siakam grew up in Cameroon and only began playing organized basketball at the age of 17.
He eventually earned a scholarship to New Mexico State to play college basketball but was never considered a sure-fire NBA prospect.
The Raptors, however, surprised some by drafting Siakam 27th overall in 2016 and the rest is history.
Prior to heading to Chicago where he will start his first career all-star game, Siakam sat down with CP24 to talk about his journey to this point, a new hot sauce he is launching and his hopes for the future.
On his first NBA All-Star game
It will mean everything. It just shows that all the hard work I have put in is paying off and I think that it is only the beginning for me and there is a lot more things that I can accomplish. I am just excited for the journey and I hope the fans are too.
On playing alongside Kyle Lowry on ‘Team Giannis’
Being able to be there with Kyle (Lowry) and some of the other guys from Africa and just having the opportunity to be in an all-star game is something that is exciting and amazing. I can't wait to share the moment with my family
On the Raptors 15-game win streak that came to an end this week
We have guys that are ready to play; it doesn’t matter the circumstances. We are just ready to go out every single night and play. It was an amazing month winning all these games. It is over now but we are definitely ready to get it started again.
On the Raptors chemistry on and off the court
It has been amazing. It is probably the most fun I have had on a team in a while. Having all these guys, different characters and different types of personalities, it is definitely fun. It is an amazing time every single day just being with those guys.
On his ‘Spicy P’ nickname and a hot sauce he is launching in partnership with Nando’s
I think when the name Spicy P came about a lot of people were asking me when I would have a hot sauce and then Nando’s came and we worked closely together to try to figure something out. They had a sauce that was a South African brand and it was just the perfect fit.
On his own hot sauce preferences
I am a medium guy. You can still call me Spicy P. I add the spice to everything else.