Joel Embiid explains how ex-college teammate Tarik Black almost made him quit basketball

Joel Embiid was close to quitting the game in college

Joel Embiid has developed into an All-Star and one of the best centers in the league but he endured a tough journey to get to where he is today. 

Even when he was drafted into the NBA, he had to wait two years to make his debut due to a foot injury. 

The road to becoming the face of the Philadelphia 76ers franchise hasn't been easy for Embiid.

But his talent was always unquestionable as he was a top prospect in high school and signed with Kansas.

Quitting was an option

He was destined to become a pro and a high draft pick but he almost gave up on it after an embarrassing moment in college made him consider quitting basketball. 

In a special piece for The Players' Tribune, the 24-year-old explained how his teammate Tarik Black made him a laughing stock early in his career with the Kansas Jayhawks.

Embiid will never forget being dunked on by Tarik Black

Embiid hilariously recalled how Black dunked on him so hard that he wanted to stop playing for good. 

"My very first scrimmage at Kansas, I got dunked on so hard by Tarik Black that I almost quit," he said.

"Tarik dunked on me so hard that I was looking at plane tickets home. This guy was a senior. He was a grown man.

"I didn't know what was going on. He got his own rebound and dunked over me so hard that everything went in slow motion.

"He dunked the ball off my head, for real. But I didn't even tell you the worst part.

"The worst part was that the entire Kansas women's hoops team was sitting in the bleachers watching the scrimmage.

"The whole gym was laughing at me. It was crazy. Seriously, it was like a WORLDSTAR situation."

The Cameroonian went on to say that he approached Hall of Fame coach Bill Self after that humiliating moment and asked if he could sit out for the entire year. 

But Self believed in his potential and shut down the idea immediately. 

"What? Are you serious?" Self said. "In two years, you're going to be the number one pick in the NBA Draft."

Hall of Fame coach Bill Self was a big influence on Embiid's career

He certainly wasn't far off as the big man was taken third by the Sixers in 2014 after a successful college campaign where he averaged 11.2 points, 2.6 blocks and 8.1 rebounds per game. 

If it wasn't for a back injury that forced him to miss the NCAA tournament, he could easily have been the top pick.

But it's worked out perfectly for the 76ers as they took a risk on him despite his health concerns and are now reaping the rewards for their patience.

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