Once a standout at the University of Kansas, Joel Embiid has yet to play a single minute of NBA action. When the Philadelphia 76ers drafted him in 2014, they knew that he would miss all of his rookie season with a foot injury and that he would need a second surgery, which would again sideline him for the entire 2015-2016 season. Although he is incredibly talented—at 7 feet tall and 249 pounds, he moves better than most big men in the league—according to a new report by Sports Illustrated, Embiid has had tremendous trouble preparing his body to play in the NBA.
According to the report, Embiid’s diet is the main culprit. He has a penchant for drinking pitchers of Shirley Temples, a drink packed with calories and pure sugar, and he’s been spotted chowing down on hot dogs and chicken fingers before, during and after 76ers games. Combine that with the inactivity of rehabbing from his foot injuries and nagging back problems, and it’s an object lesson on how not to eat when you’re an athlete, especially when coming back from a serious injury. From the report:
“The Sixers’ training staff was so concerned about what he was eating, they stocked the refrigerator in his downtown hotel residence with healthy food. When a staffer went to restock the fridge each week, most everything was uneaten and unopened, and they were throwing out the fruits and vegetables every week. When the team subsequently asked to see Embiid’s room service bill, they found that most days he was ordering junk food along with his signature beverage, a pitcher of Shirley Temples. Embiid also was frequently seen feasting on chicken fingers and hot dogs at and after games.”
Junk food may taste good, but if you’re an athlete rehabbing after a major injury, and you have dreams of getting back on the court sooner rather than later, do not follow Embiid’s habits.
Here’s hoping Embiid changes his diet to greens, fruit and other healthy selections.