During his very brief tenure at the University of Kansas, Joel Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.4 assists per games. In 28 games, he shot 62.6 percent from the field and 68.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Embiid, following Thursdays practice in Allen Fieldhouse prior to Friday nights exhibition game at the Sprint Center, told a large group of media outlets that he had originally planned to return for his sophomore year.
“It was a good feeling," said Embiid. "When I was here, it’s funny, I don’t think anybody knows this story, but I actually decided to stay because I loved this place so much but I was kind of pushed away, but I love this place so much and any time I get the chance to come back I’m gonna do that. Stepping in this place, this is kind of where it all started for me.
“Without coming to this place, I don’t think that I would have been the third pick with the Philadelphia 76ers, so I’m really thankful,” he added. “I’m not going to say (who pushed me away), but it was a tough choice, but I’ve still got a lot of love for Kansas. Every time I get the chance to represent (KU) I always do.”
Its safe to say that Embiid, the 7-foot-0, 250-pound center made the right call in making the move to the NBA. Despite missing his rookie season, and appearing in just 31 games last season, Embiid, a former five-star prospect from the Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., just recently signed a 5-year extension worth 146.5 million.
In just 31 games, Embiid averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game.
If his play during the exhibition portion is a sign of what’s to come, Embiid is set to have a breakout season for Philadelphia. He has the size, skill and athleticism to be a matchup nightmare on the court.
“I feel great,” said Embiid. “I feel like we’ve got a lot of potential and we’ve got to learn how to play with each other. We’re so young, so we’ve got to learn how to play with each other, but the sky is the limit.
“We are all so young,” he added when asked what he likes about this team. “You know, we understand each other and we can relate, because we are all so young and everybody is just to be around and its just fun to be around them.”