Portland’s Kanter seeks Ramadan advice from NBA great Olajuwon

Enes Kanter of the Portland Trail Blazers takes the ball to the basket against Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap of the Denver Nuggets during Game Five of the Western Conference Semi-Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at the Pepsi Center on May 7, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 08 May 2019

Portland’s Kanter seeks Ramadan advice from NBA great Olajuwon

  • Kanter’s observance of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan
  • Nigerian-born Olajuwon powered the Houston Rockets to a pair of NBA titles in 1994-95

LOS ANGELES: Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter said Tuesday he’d sought the advice of NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon on how to maintain his level of play while fasting during Ramadan.
“I texted Hakeem, because I met him, like, two years ago and I know what he did in, I think it was 1995, when he won the MVP in the playoffs,” Kanter told reporters as the Blazers prepared to take on the Denver Nuggets in game five of their Western Conference second-round series.
“But I texted him and was like, ‘Hey, how did you fast through Ramadan and play at a really high level?’” Kanter said. “And he gave me some tips.
“He gave me what he was eating, when he would wake up — Like at 4 in the morning — how much water he was drinking and stuff.”
Kanter’s observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is marked by fasting from sunrise to sunset, also precludes him from taking medication for his injured shoulder during the hours he fasts.
“I took medicine at, like, 4 in the morning and I will take medicine again right before the game, because I can break my fast before the game,” Kanter said. “But I’ll be fine.”
Turkey’s Kanter said he thought the spiritual lift of observing Ramadan countered any physical detriment.
“I think it just gives you so much positive vibes that just go out there to say, ‘You know what, I’m doing this for God, so God (will) help me.’“
Nigerian-born Olajuwon, who powered the Houston Rockets to a pair of NBA titles, told The Undefeated in 2017 that the “spiritual mindset” of fasting gave him the stamina required to play.
“Through Allah’s mercy, I always felt stronger and more energetic during Ramadan.”



European Ryder Cup stars take aim on 2021 Saudi International

Updated 27 November 2020

European Ryder Cup stars take aim on 2021 Saudi International

  • The February tourney looks set to be one of the strongest events on European Tour schedule

JEDDAH: European Ryder Cup stars Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood join defending champion Graeme McDowell in looking to get their campaign to qualify for the 2021 European Ryder Cup team off to the strongest possible start at the Saudi International.

The tournament, powered by Softbank Investment Advisers, will take place  Feb. 4 -7 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City.

With world No. 1 and 2020 Masters champion Dustin Johnson and 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau confirmed for the event, along with reigning Open champion Shane Lowry and US stars Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed, the strength of the field means huge ranking points will be on offer for Europe’s leading golfers as they look to get their 2021 qualifying efforts off to a fast start and secure a coveted place on the 2021 European Ryder Cup team.

With a lineup that looks set to ensure that the Saudi International will be one of the strongest events on the 2021 European Tour schedule, Golf Saudi is looking to build on the momentum resulting from hosting two extremely successful Ladies European Tour events this month as interest and participation in golf continues to grow in the Kingdom.

Fleetwood, a six-time winner on the European Tour and standout player in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory in Paris in 2018, is making his debut this year in the Saudi International. He said: “From all I’ve heard from the lads who played there the last couple of years, the Saudi International has established itself as one of the leading events on the European Tour both in terms of set up and facilities as well as quality of the field, which is really impressive this year.”

Poulter, who played for the first time in the 2020 edition, said: “I really enjoyed the tournament at the beginning of this year and am psyched to be returning next February. The course sets up for my game rather nicely so I was pretty frustrated to only finish in the top 20 and will certainly be aiming to finish rather higher up the leaderboard this year!

“It’s a fantastic championship course with some amazing vistas and I also really like the fact we get to play a part in introducing golf to a whole new audience in a new region. With Ryder Cup qualification on the line, I am obviously looking to get my campaign off to a fast start and getting a decent finish or winning the Saudi International against such a stellar field would be massive.

“It’s been a really weird year with the pandemic so we are all looking forward to a fresh start in 2021 and I am hoping it is also a strong start as I keep my eyes firmly focused on qualifying for the European team at Whistling Straits,” he added.

Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, said: “This announcement marks yet another amazing group of golf stars joining our 2021 field and the excitement of all the players to kick off afresh in 2021, in Saudi Arabia, is heartening to hear.

“The lineup for the tournament is looking strong and with more players still to be announced in the coming weeks — and on the back of two excellent Ladies European Tour events earlier this month — we are very much looking forward to the third edition of our tournament. We believe it will be the strongest installment to date and will serve as a fabulous illustration that Saudi Arabia is open for business.”