ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Pretty cool story out of Minneapolis, where Wolves forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute decided to step in and help some fans who traveled a long way to meet him.
The dozen young basketball players are all from around Avignon in the south of France. They became aware of Mbah a Moute through a friend of his who used to play for the nearby Basket Club Nyonsais. Because Mbah a Moute has roots in Africa (he is a native of Cameroon) and speaks French, this group of kids felt a particular kinship. As Mbah a Moute explained to Fox Sports, “The French connection, and a lot of those kids are also from Africa originally, so their parents are from Africa. Just being fans of a guy from Africa playing in the NBA, just my story, how I made it in the NBA.”
Still, after becoming fans of Mbah a Moute, getting to the U.S. to see him play a game wasn’t so easy. The original plan was to visit Milwaukee to see him play with his then-team the Bucks, but he was traded to the Sacramento Kings before the season. So they instead planned their trip around two games this week — Sacramento at Brooklyn on Sunday, and Sacramento at Philadelphia on Wednesday.
And then the Kings traded Mbah a Moute to Minnesota. The fans decided to keep their plans as they were, which would have meant missing Mbah a Moute. So Mbah a Moute got involved and paid for the entire group to fly out to Minnesota on Monday, where they had dinner with Mbah a Moute and Ronny Turiaf, and then they attended last night’s Bucks/Timberwolves game.
Ironically, Mbah a Moute didn’t actually get into the game last night, but it didn’t dampen the experience had by all. As Mbah a Moute told Twincities.com, “I just can’t imagine kids coming and doing something like that for someone they don’t know. I think it’s pretty special.”