How Jonathan Kuminga Learned the Game by Watching Kobe’s Highlights

Jonathan Kuminga has had a long journey to the NBA. A journey that’s been unconventional but could be the norm as he migrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he bounced around from Huntington Prep to Our Savior New American School in New York before he rose to stardom and became a consensus five-star recruit at The Patrick School in New Jersey.

Everything you see from Kuminga, his work ethic, and his potential as a two-way lockdown star for the Warriors came from the adversity of his journey to the League. It came from Kuminga growing up watching Kobe Bryant highlights in an internet cafe in the Congo.

“It was crazy cause there’s a lot of things that you have over here that you don’t get over there. Going to the Internet cafe at an early young age, just watching Kobe, and that’s when I fell in love with basketball.” Kuminga said.

Kuminga went on say that people his age or younger that come to the States should use the presented opportunity to come here and take advantage of it.

Kuminga parlayed his high school success into becoming a part of the inaugural G League Ignite team. Kuminga went on to cement his potential as a lottery pick-level player, averaging 15.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. After his season of development with the G League Ignite, the Golden State Warriors were impressed with Kuminga enough to draft him seventh overall in the 2021 NBA Draft.

“Just me going to the G League; it was just basically like me leaving home and coming here. I think I was going to be drafted just a year after that, and it be way higher. That’s what made me go to the G League and just get ready to be professional and way ahead of everybody. The night I got drafted, my parents came over, and then I heard my name get called just to sit at the same table; I don’t think that happened since I left home. That was just a joyful time to enjoy it with my parents and my family.”

Next season, Kuminga will have a prime opportunity to become a vital piece of the Warriors’ rotation as they attempt to defend their 2022 title. The Warriors let vital members of their bench mob walk in free agency in order to focus on their develop and win now philosophy, while Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green remain on the roster.

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