For 76ers star Joel Embiid it's a mission that is bigger than basketball. His goal is to help children from his home country of Cameroon and local children as well. He started the mission Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
"1,2,3 Trust the Process," screamed the crowd.
A big surprise for kids at the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Frankford. 76ers center Joel Embiid made a pop-up visit giving out T-shirts and sweatshirts to dozens of children. The visit is part of Embiid's multi-year endorsement with Under Armour announced Wednesday. He told media the partnership with Under Armour will help continue his commitment to helping kids in his home of Cameroon in Africa and locally.
"Hard work pays off and my main thing is that you got to stay humble no matter who you are and where you get in life," said Embiid. He said the new deal will help continue his family's spirit of giving started when he was younger and his foundation in Africa run by his parents.
"Starting to play basketball at 16 years old which is pretty old to start with and making it after three years. I feel blessed and you always got to thank God." Embiid stuck around to host a three-point shooting contest with the kids led by basketball players from Roman Catholic High school. The kids already dressed in their Embiid shirts were excited.
"When I went to give him my hand his whole hand covered my whole hand," said 8-year old Zamyah Kendrick.
Ashylnn Pierce said, “I think it's exciting because you're not going to be able to see him every day anywhere and I got to see him here."
Embiid says this is about more than basketball.
"At 16 years old I left my whole family. I did not know how to speak English. I came to a country that I didn’t know anything about. I just want to show them that anything is possible as long as you have goals in life and you put the work in. I's going to pay off and you just have to trust the process," he said.
Embiid didn't say specifically how money will help kids here in Philly.
He only hinted that Philly has had his back and he has a few surprises coming for the community and the rest of the world. We'll have to stay tuned.