One of the people Joel Embiid thanked during his speech after receiving the MVP trophy on Friday was Luc Mbah a Moute. Embiid was discovered as a teenager by Mbah a Moute, who is also from Cameroon.
In a piece he wrote for The Players' Tribune, the reigning MVP explained how Mbah a Moute helped him when he was just starting to play basketball at the age of 16.
"When I was 16, Luc Mbah a Moute invited me to come to the basketball camp that he puts on every summer in Cameroon, and the only reason was because I was like 6 foot 10," Embiid said. "I was so nervous that I didn't even show up the first day. The second day, I showed up, they put me in the game and I dunked on somebody.
"They could see something in me. I got a spot at the Basketball Without Borders camp in South Africa. Two months later, I was on a plane to Florida to go to high school in America."
Luc Mbah a Moute helped Joel Embiid in his transition to the United States as a teenager. The former NBA player served as a mentor during Embiid's formative years as a basketball prospect.
Embiid played his first year of high school basketball at Mbah a Moute's alma mater, Montverde Academy, in Florida. He transferred to The Rock School in his second year due to the lack of minutes. He ended up becoming a five-star recruit who committed to play for Kansas.
After a season with the Jayhawks, Embiid was the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. However, he had to wait two years for his debut after back-to-back foot injuries derailed the start of his NBA career.
Luc Mbah a Moute's personal life and NBA career
Luc Mbah a Moute was born in Bafia, Cameroon on Sept. 9, 1986. He is the son of a tribal chief named Camille Moute a Bidias, which makes him a prince. He has a twin brother named Emmanuel Bidias a Moute and a younger brother named Roger Moute a Bidias.
Mbah a Moute played college basketball at UCLA and stayed there for three seasons. He was selected 37th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. He played five seasons in Milwaukee before starting his career as an NBA journeyman.
The 36-year-old played for five more teams during his 12-year stint in the league. He suited up for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, LA Clippers, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers, wherein he was teammates with Joel Embiid for one season.
Mbah a Moute retired from the NBA at the end of the 2019-20 season. He currently works as an agent for CAA and looking for the next Embiid or Pascal Siakam, who he also discovered in Cameroon.