Even the most devout Toronto Raptors fans may not yet know about DeAndre’ Bembry.
While the likes of Kyle Lowry see plenty of minutes, Bembry — a fifth-year swingman — is on the Toronto Raptors‘ bench. Although he spent recent years growing into a promising reserve with the Atlanta Hawks, Bembry hasn’t played much to start the 2020-21 NBA season.
Only averaging nearly nine minutes per game likely won’t deter Bembry, though. A simple glance at Bembry’s jersey is a reminder of all that he has overcome so far.
DeAndre’ Bembry is in his first season with the Toronto Raptors
A former standout at Saint Joseph’s, DeAndre’ Bembry entered the NBA as the 21st overall pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 2016.
In four seasons with the Hawks, Bembry averaged 6.2 points on 44.8% shooting from the field in 189 games and 23 starts. Bembry added 3.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and one steal per night.
The Toronto Raptors signed Bembry in November 2020, and the results haven’t been promising so far. Bembry, who averaged over 20 minutes in each of his final two seasons with the Hawks, is playing fewer than nine minutes a game.
Across his first 12 games with the Raptors, Bembry averaged 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds.
Bembry wears No. 95 in honor of his brother
DeAndre’ Bembry had to deal with a horrific tragedy upon entering the NBA.
DeAndre’s younger brother, Adrian Potts, was shot to death in June 2016. According to WCNC in Charlotte, N.C., an altercation in an apartment led to a shooting.
Potts died 12 days before the Atlanta Hawks drafted Bembry. The rookie donned No. 95 with the Hawks in honor of his brother, who was born in 1995.
Bembry became the first player in NBA history to wear No. 95. Golden State Warriors shooting guard Juan Toscano-Anderson joined Bembry last season.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said in March 2018 that Anthony Eugene Gill and Ferguson Laurents were confirmed suspects in Potts’ murder. However, CMPD said at the time that Gil and Laurents were already dead.
DeAndre’ Bembry is now a staunch advocate against gun violence
DeAndre’ Bembry has spent his NBA journey honoring his late brother.
Bembry established a nonprofit organization called the AP World (Adrian Potts World) to fight gun violence. The organization’s official website includes this mission statement.
“This family tragedy served as the catalyst for DeAndre’ to develop a support system that could be an anchor and a resource hub for other families who may have to take a similar journey through grief.”
In November 2020, AP World held a Thanksgiving dinner donations event at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta. According to the organization’s website, DeAndre’ Bembry took the full Thanksgiving meals to families who had been impacted by violence.