VIDEO – Former UNLV coach Marvin Menzies talks Pascal Siakam on Canadian television

Pascal Siakam has been one of the breakout starts of the NBA Playoffs.

The Toronto Raptors forward has averaged 22 ppg through the first two games of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

“He’s been blessed with some special skills and he’s actually maximized them just because of his ethics. His character,” Menzies told CBC News. “He’s just a big-time worker. He’s the epitome of a gym rat.”

Menzies recruited Siakam to New Mexico State and coached him in the WAC from 2013-16.

Sporting some of his new gear from Grand Canyon University, Menzies tells the story of Pascal Siakam’s background which included time in a seminary, and the tragic death of his father.



His journey was chronicled by’s Jackie McMullen.

After discovering basketball at age 15, Siakam showed a natural gift. He won a scholarship to New Mexico State University, but his father died in a car accident before his first season of college ball. He wanted to fly back to be with his family but his visa was still being processed, so his family encouraged him to stay back rather than jeopardize his immigration status. Siakam said that time of his life was the toughest, but he has matured going through this stretch of adversity. His father’s passing still haunts Siakam today and he said it fuels him because he’s playing not only for himself, but for his father.

Menzies said he and Siakam text quite often. One of the big topics?

Menzies is pushing to finish his studies and get his degree from New Mexico State.

Photo courtesy CBC

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