Ramadan is a significant month in the Islamic calendar, and it is observed by Muslims worldwide. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food and drink, among other things. This fasting goes on for 30 days. For Muslim NBA players, Ramadan can be a challenging time. This is because they will have to balance their faith with the demands of playing professional basketball.
To cope during Ramadan, NBA players who are Muslims have to plan their schedules carefully. They have to adjust their training and nutrition routines to ensure they can maintain their physical fitness while fasting. They also have to schedule their games and training sessions to avoid conflicts with their fasting and prayer times.
Some of the players also choose to break their fast before games or training sessions. Others too opt to fast during the day and break their fast after their games or training. This decision depends on the individual’s physical condition and what works best for them.
To continue, players of the Islamic faith also receive support from their teams and coaches during Ramadan. Teams may adjust their schedules to accommodate the players’ fasting and prayer times. They may also provide additional support and resources to help players maintain their physical fitness while fasting.
Furthermore, players often receive support from their fellow teammates and the broader basketball community. The NBA as a league, has shown its commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. This includes supporting players of different faiths and backgrounds.
Some 5 NBA Players who are Muslims.
Ömer Yurtseven: The Uzbekistani-born Turkish basketball player plays for the Miami Heat. It is suggested that one of the reasons why the Georgetown University alum decided to leave North Carolina State University in Raleigh is because of Georgetown’s reputation for religious tolerance. There, the young athlete became a part of the city’s relatively large Muslim community.
Kyrie Irving: Bearded Kyrie currently plays or the Dallas Mavericks. This was after his unexpected exit from the Brooklyn Nets. He is one of the most popular Muslim NBA players. Despite his personal beliefs, Irving is extremely talented and among the top NBA players today. He converted to Islam a couple of years ago and seems to be a practicing Muslim.
Enes Kanter Freedom: Enes Kanter Freedom is still a free agent hopefully waiting for his next contract. But he is highly likely not to get one. The talented center has been one of the most controversial NBA players over the past few years. His political activism and the frequent calling out of the NBA over its link to China, may have led to his absence. The last team he played for is the Nets, and that was during the 2021-2022 NBA year.
Enes was born in Switzerland to Turkish parents. Considering that Islam is the largest religion in Turkey, it’s not surprising that Kanter is a Muslim.
Jusuf Nurkic: Jusuf current plays for the Portland Trail Blazers. ‘The Bosnian Beast’ is a practicing Muslim who joined the NBA in 2014. Nurkic started his career with the Denver Nuggets, splitting minutes with MVP center Nikola Jokic.
Dennis Schroder: Schroder has been valuable in a multitude of roles, including as a starter with the Atlanta Hawks earlier in his career, and as a reserve more recently with the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder.
He returned to the Lakers ahead of the 2022-2023 NBA season and has since performed extremely well for his team.