Bam Adebayo has been a breakout star for the Miami Heat. He’s one of the main reasons the team has a chance of being a real force in the upcoming postseason (notwithstanding the coronavirus). Adebayo’s profile is on the rise, but it still surprises many fans to learn that “Bam” isn’t his real name.
What is Bam Adebayo’s real name?
Adebayo spent his entire life ensuring this nickname was a perfect fit for his career. Edrice Femi Adebayo was born on July 18, 1997. As USA Today reports, a 1-year-old “Bam” started getting called the name when he flipped over a coffee table while watching The Flintstones. The excessive strength reminded his mother of the character Bamm-Bamm, and the moniker stuck.
Adebayo didn’t take long to figure out better ways to use his natural ability. He was an excellent high-school player, first at Northside High School and then High Point Christian Academy. He became a five-star prospect and committed to Kentucky, averaging 13 points and eight rebounds a game in his one season there.
Everything Adebayo has accomplished is thanks to the relentless work ethic installed in him by his mother, Marilyn Blount. Blount was a cashier during Adebayo’s childhood, raising him in a single-wide trailer home while living on $12,000 a year. She made it a point to teach her son to work hard and make the most of his gifts.
Adebayo was a good student, but she asked teachers to tutor him to ensure academic eligibility and for the principal to “talk stern” to him from time to time. He took that mentality into the NBA, and it made him a star.
Adebayo joins the NBA
The Miami Heat selected him 14th overall in the 2017 NBA draft. At the time, many considered Adebayo to be an athletic, defense-first big who would be a role player at best. After spending his first two years in the league, however, he one of the most exciting NBA players.
As a defender, he’s surpassed the hopes of even the most optimistic Adebayo fan. A select few players can truly guard four or five positions; Adebayo is one of those players. He combines intense physicality with high-level smarts that help him guard star players. In his most eye-catching performance, he helped contain the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo to 13 points on 6-18 shooting in a 105-89 win.
Adebayo is one of the revelations of the NBA season
It’s on the offensive end where Adebayo has raised the most eyebrows. Even as the modern NBA encourages versatility and well-rounded skillsets, it’s rare for a big man to handle the ball for more than a one-dribble drive to the basket.
Adebayo is a gifted passer and ballhandler. It’s not uncommon to see him bring the ball up to initiate plays. He’s only 22 years old, and he’s already second among big men for most assists per game with five. Nikola Jokic is the player ahead of him, which is fair enough considering Jokic might be the best passing center the NBA has ever seen.
At times, he looks like a bigger and more athletic version of Draymond Green. He’s only just started to put all of his skills together. His best games this season — the three games where he got a triple-double, for example — show just how high his ceiling is as a player.
Adebayo is still a few years from reaching his peak. The Heat gave him the perfect situation to thrive, and he repaid them by giving Miami’s fans high hopes for the future. His real name may not be widely known. But fans of the NBA will become familiar with Adebayo’s game soon enough.