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Magic’s Khem Birch says former Heat center Joel Anthony is his inspiration

Khem Birch, Joel Anthony, Heat, Magic

Orlando Magic center Khem Birch revealed that former Miami Heat big man Joel Anthony is his inspiration.

Birch told Julia McKenzie of The Montreal Gazette that Anthony, who played 10 seasons in the NBA, is his idol. The Montreal native added that even up to this point, he is still looking up to Anthony because of what he did on and off the court during his playing career.

“Very big inspiration,” Birch said of Joel Anthony. “He’s my idol and I still look up to him.”

Berch was inspired by NBA players from Canada who came before him, and he is determined to blaze his own trail. The 26-year-old center recently held a basketball camp for kids in Montreal, saying that he wanted to inspire aspiring players as way of giving back to his community.

“When I was growing up there wasn’t a lot of basketball camps,” Birch added. “When I was a young, young kid, there were no NBA players coming back to give back to the community. I want to be that guy so kids can look back and say ‘Khem did it, so I can do it in the future.'”

Birch is expected to inspire more Canadian kids, as he recently inked a two-year deal worth $6 million with the Magic. He was also named to the Canadian national team pool for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.