Who is Bruno Fernando? Houston Rockets center now alongside Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson in Rockets history with a unique record

Houston Rockets v Atlanta Hawks
Bruno Fernando is a young talented NBA center.

Bruno Fernando is one of the most promising young players in the NBA. He recently entered his fourth season in the league.

The 6-foot-9 big man got his first start with the Houston Rockets in the season opener on Wednesday night. The Rockets played the Atlanta Hawks, a team Fernando started his career with.

Unfortunately, Houston lost the game 117-107. However Fernando put on a great overall game with seven points, nine rebounds and seven assists. If he can keep delivering such performances, he could be a valuable player in the league for a long time.

Bruno Fernando was traded to the Houston Rockets on Feb. 10, 2022, shortly before the trade deadline. He played for the Boston Celtics before the trade, averaging only 2.9 minutes per game.

In his first season with the Rockets, Fernando averaged 6.9 points and 4 rebounds. The team signed him to a two-way contract in the offseason, but converted him into a regular contract in early October.

Fernando got his first start with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
Fernando got his first start with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Fernando's numbers in the season opener against the Hawks were decent. However, his ball distribution made his performance special as he had seven assists with zero turnovers.

He became the third center in Houston Rockets history to record seven assists without a turnover, joining Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson.


Sampson spent five seasons in Houston and was a double-double machine. Olajuwon, on the other hand, is one of the greatest centers ever. He led the Rockets to back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995.

Bruno Fernando and his origins

Bruno Fernando is the first-ever Angolan player to play in the NBA. He was born in Luanda, the capital and the largest city in the African country, and spent most of his life there.

Fernando was spotted by scouts while playing for Angola in the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship. During the tournament, his national team qualified for the knockout phase, but were eliminated by Canada.

Fernando led his national team to the gold medal in the 2016 FIBA U18 African Championship. He set tournament-highs in points (33) and blocks (6). The Rockets center also led the tournament in field-goal percentage with 72.4%.

Fernando was incredible in the season opener for the Rockets.
Fernando was incredible in the season opener for the Rockets.

In 2015, the young player joined the Montverde Academy in Florida. Bruno Fernando eventually committed to the University of Maryland and his debut came in November 2017.

During his college years, Fernando was a great scorer who was also skilled at rebounding and blocking shots. He declared for the 2018 draft but eventually withdrew and returned to Maryland.

The talented player was selected with the 34th overall pick in the 2019 draft. He was picked up by the Philadelphia 76ers, but was traded to the Atlanta Hawks shortly after.

Houston Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks.
Houston Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks.

Bruno Fernando played for Atlanta for two years, averaging 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds. He was traded to the Boston Celtics in the 2021 offseason, but he did not get much of a chance there.

Fernando is now with the Houston Rockets and could end up being a huge part of the team. The Rockets have a young roster and there is no doubt that he's in the perfect situation at the moment.

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Edited by Rajdeep Barman
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