Sometimes, it becomes tricky when religion and sports mesh and this is never more relevant than with Islam-following NBA players who are still lucky enough to be playing into mid-May when the religion celebrates Ramadan.
This is currently the case with Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter who is a well-known Muslim. During Ramadan, an individual must fast from the time the sun starts coming up at approximately 4 a.m. until the sun goes down 16 hours later. This includes fluids and water, which is likely the most arduous obstacle for Muslim athletes to overcome during this time of year.
In order to maneuver through Ramadan properly while keeping his play at a high level, Enes Kanter contacted one of the best players in NBA history and the most popular Muslim players the NBA has ever seen in Hakeem Olajuwon. Kanter says he texted the former Houston Rocket recently for advice during Ramadan.
Enes Kanter said he texted with Hakeem Olajuwon for some tips on playing while fasting for Ramadan: pic.twitter.com/i5e0HoEt2R
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) May 7, 2019
Again, the inability to drink water or any other fluid is certainly a hindrance but one multiple NBA players have overcome in the past. Incredibly, Olajuwon won two rings and Finals MVPs in 1994 and 1995 while fasting during Ramadan.
As Kanter pointed out, most of Portland’s matchups against Denver will come after 8 p.m. local time, allowing the Turkish center to eat before the game and drink during it. The Blazers are currently in a heated second-round series against the Nuggets that they will need Kanter for if they hope to advance. Kanter’s posted per-game averages of 14.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in their five games against Denver so far this series.