Giving thanks for getting to watch Joel Embiid so early in his basketball career


When giving thanks today, don't forget to send a little the way of the basketball gods for enabling you to watch potential superstar Joel Embiid play during his formative years. Shockingly, this is only his third year of organized basketball.

Embiid played more soccer and volleyball growing up and the soccer clearly contributed to his amazing footwork, so rare for a 7-footer. He moves his feet like a point guard and sees the floor like one too. Coach Bill Self listed Embiid, Frank Mason, Naadir Tharpe and Wayne Selden as the team's four best passers.

Check out this feed of Andrew Wiggins in the Duke game:

And this find of hot-shooting Brannen Greene, again in the Duke game:

Against Towson in Allen Fieldhouse, Embiid showed he's a quick study by applying his coach's advice.

"I talked to coach Self and I had to watch Jeff Withey video tape and coach just told me to stay on the ground and not go for shot fakes, so that's what I do," Embiid said.

He also showed extraordinary ability throwing the outlet pass to teammates fast enough to run them down.

"I'd like to say I've been working with him on that, but I think it's more instinctive," Self said of the outlet passes. "He's smart. He understands. He's got feel. You know, he played with that AAU team with Chris Walker (Florida) and Brannen (Greene) and Kasey Hill (Florida). The only time he touched it was when he rebounded it, so he wanted to try to do something positive. He's been doing that for a while."

In the event you promised you wouldn't watch KU basketball highlights at the Thanksgiving dinner table, we'll leave the sound off for these highlights of Embiid blocking shots and throwing outlet passes against Towson. Just hide your iPhone under the table and keep your reactions to yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Doug Cramer 4 years, 6 months ago

Just a phenomenal athlete. Unbelievable recruiting class Coach put together...along with an unbelievable overall team. This is going to be such a great season.

Ok State might be the only team that has a shot at taking us down.

Ashwin Rao 4 years, 6 months ago

Can we try Embiid as QB in the KSU game? Darn, he is unavailable! I loved his Outlet Passes in the last clip!

Kent Richardson 4 years, 6 months ago

If a hard bitten sports editor can sound as almost awestruck by Embiid as I am then I don't feel so embarrassed. Maybe it's partly because of his rise from unknown to top 10 prospect that allows me to be so impressed. With Wiggins,it was 24/7 from the get go and I was cynical of the hype machine. Wiggins has not disappointed at all but he was just meeting expectations. Joel seems to take every possession personally. Just watch his face during free throws. I'm not sure even who is my favorite dude yet. I give thanks.

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