Pistons’ Sekou Doumbouya, Hawks’ Bruno Fernando show off impressive soccer skills at Panini NBA Rookie Photoshoot
NBA first-year players Sekou Doumbouya of the Detroit Pistons and Bruno Fernando of the Atlanta Hawks wowed fellow athletes at the Panini NBA’s rookie photoshoot happening on Sunday with their impressive dribbling ability. Not that kind of dribbling, though.
Doumbouya, born in Guinea and raised in France, and Fernando, from Angola, tried their hand—or foot—at dribbling a basketball and showed their soccer skills.
— NBA (@NBA) August 11, 2019
The 18-year-old Doumbouya was selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. He’s a 6-foot-9, rangy forward who may need some time to develop into his full self come the fall. Doumbouya last played in the French national league with Limoges CSP. While the FIBA World Cup in China starts to perk up this time of year, Doumbouya was a gold-medal-winning member of France’s FIBA Europe Under-18 champion team.
Fernando, meanwhile, is a 20-year-old power forward drafted with the fourth pick in the second round (34th overall) of last June’s class by the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta acquired the Angolan big man’s draft rights in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Fernando joins the Hawks’ loaded draft class, alongside lottery picks Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter and Duke’s Cam Reddish. Fernando attend Maryland for two seasons before entering the 2019 draft.
The 6-foot-10 Fernando averaged 12.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game, shooting 59.5% from the floor, 30.8% from deep, and 76.3% from the free throw line in his two years with the Terrapins.
Fernando and Doumbouya represent just two of the many foreign-born NBA players and two of the many incoming rookies from outside the United States as the NBA blends talents from across the glove away from soccer and into the basketball world.