Next Up Ep 2: Rakeem Christmas – Just A Kid From The Caribbean Like Tim Duncan

Check out episode 2 of the Grit Media series “Next Up” featuring NBA rookie Rakeem Christmas.

Christmas was a 2nd round pick by the TWolves, who was traded on draft night to the Cavs. After putting up 8 & 5 in the summer league, he was then traded to the Pacers and here we are now.

Via Grit Media

Growing up in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Rakeem Christmas imagined he’d being playing baseball. Like his fellow Caribbean statesman, Tim Duncan, Rakeem picked up the basketball a lot later than most NBA players. In our latest video, the Indiana Pacers rookie reminisces about life on the island and the make-shift hoops he played on as kid.

We live in an era of 1-and-done players leaving college early for the NBA Draft. Then there’s Rakeem Christmas. He chose the 4-year-process. Even after being named a McDonald’s HS All-American, Rakeem had to earn playing time at Syracuse University. As a freshman, Christmas averaged 2 points and 2 rebounds a game. By his senior year, he averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds. But it wasn’t until his NBA Combine performance that teams started taking notice and his draft stock shot up.