The 21-year-old Angolan basketball player Bruno Fernando became the first of his country to join an NBA team, USA’s professional basketball league.
On the morning of 20 June, the player was chosen for position 34 in the Philadelphia 76ers through the player selection system called draft in the USA.
According to the Portuguese sports newspaper “A Bola” (The Ball), Bruno Fernando started playing basketball at the Angolan club Primeiro de Agosto, and then headed to the USA at the age of 16.
Playing for the University of Maryland, Bruno had his best performance between 2018 and 2019, when he reached averages of 13.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks.
According to Portugal newspaper Diário de Notícias, Bruno started with mini-basketball, then moved to the team of initiates, and later cadets, youth, and juniors, all with the club Primeiro de Agosto in Luanda.
The official announcement was made first on the NBA Africa website, and was followed by various online shares and shows of pride for Bruno Fernando’s recognition:
— NBA Africa (@NBA_Africa) 21 juin 2019
In an interview with “A Bola”, Bruno Fernando said ”This moment means a lot to me and I hope that now the door is open for more Angolans”. Below is the interview video:
On Twitter, the player showed his gratitude with a saying:
“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”
Angola’s famous musician Kizomba (musical style) Nsoki said the achievement was a sign of pride for Angolans, but above all of responsibility for the player:
“Nada pode derrotar aquele que Deus escolheu para vencer…” ❤🇦🇴🙏🏽 nosso orgulho, nosso guerreiro @BrunoFernandoMV . O primeiro Angolano 🇦🇴 na NBA , a carregar um país inteiro quanta responsabilidade e coragem. Estamos muito orgulhosos 🇦🇴🙏🏽 #muchrespect #Brunofernando pic.twitter.com/gb9uZYxk9m
— Nsoki (@Nsokimusic) 21 juin 2019
“Nothing can defeat the one God has chosen to win…” Our pride, our warrior @BrunoFernandoMV . The first Angolan in the NBA, to carry an entire country, such responsibility and courage. We are very proud