Enes Kanter seeks advice from Hakeem Olajuwon about fasting for Ramadan during NBA Playoffs
As the Trail Blazers playoff run extends well into May (and hopefully longer), it creates a bit of an interesting conundrum for Blazers big man Enes Kanter.
Kanter, a devout Muslim, is fasting in observance of Ramadan, the ninth month on the Islamic calendar where Muslims are obligated to fast from dawn to sunset every day. For professional athletes to observe the practice is not unheard of, but is nonetheless demanding on the player’s physical well-being.
Kanter is already hurting with a separated left shoulder suffered against Oklahoma City in the first round, which he further separated in Game Three against Denver. However, he says he will follow through on the religious tradition to fast.
Kanter has asked the advice of one of the all-time greats and fellow Muslim Hakeem Olajuwon, who famously also fasted during Ramadan. Kanter told the media that he texted with The Dream about tips on what to eat and how to maintain high energy for the games.
“When I texted him, he was just very happy and very proud,” Kanter told the media at Tuesday’s shootaround prior to Game Five against the Nuggets in Denver. “It’s very important, man. It doesn’t matter what your status is or what your position is, I just want to set an example for the young generation.”
. @Enes_Kanter says he texted with former NBA Finals MVP Hakeem Olajuwon, a devout Muslim, for tips on what to eat and playing at an elite level during observance of Ramadan. #ripcity pic.twitter.com/6T8AfpfUcZ
— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) May 7, 2019
Olajuwon won MVP of the NBA Finals back to back years in 1994 and 1995, fasting during both post-seasons.
In 4 games this series against the Nuggets, Kanter is averaging 16 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1 block per game while averaging 37.7 minutes played.
Monday, May 6th was the first day of Ramadan, and it extends to Tuesday, June 4th, which includes the Conference Finals and part of the NBA Finals schedule (NBA Finals begin May 30th).
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