After breaking a long-standing NCAA bounce record as a student-athlete with Morehead State, Kenneth Faried had the world in his hands when he entered the NBA as 22nd overall candidate in the 2011 draft. The New Jersey-born player, who was awarded the NBA Community Assist and J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2013, has not quite lived up to expectations but hopes to make a career leap with his new team, the Brooklyn Nets.
Kenneth Faried Early Life and Career
Kenneth Faried was born in Newark, New Jersey, on November 19, 1989, the son of Waudda Faried and Kenneth Lewis. As a young boy, Faried was inspired to play basketball by his two parents, as they loved to play pick-up games together. By the time he was 9 years old, he had started begging to be allowed to play, as he excelled against his peers when he competed against his peers.
Faried attended Technology High School in Newark, New Jersey, where he grew a body frame of 6 feet (6.20 m) and 7 inches (7 inches) and bullied virtually every other kid on the court, even though he had to fight asthma first, which initially limited his performance. Despite his talents on the court, Faried suffered academically, which prevented major college programs from recruiting him. This meant that he had to attend a smaller school that did not care as much about his grades.
The ballplayer enrolled in 2007 at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky. Here Faried became a beast on the board because he was unplayable when it came to catching a rebound. He first led the Ohio Valley Conference in rebounds in his second and second junior class before setting the NCAA career record in Division I that Tim Duncan had previously set (1,570 rebounds) with 1,673 rebounds. In addition, he was named Player of the Year twice at his conference, receiving a consensual second-team All-American and NABC Defensive Player of the Year award in his final college season.
Kenneth Faried entered the NBA via the 2011 draft, where he was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 22nd overall selection. His first few weeks in the NBA did not go as planned as he struggled for playing time as he played as a replacement for Nene Hilario. But after the striker of the starting power got injured, Faried impressed his coaches and with his dark and aggressive style on the board, he also became a fan favorite, which helped him to get his starting job. His rival for the starting spot was further traded for another team, which gave him room to develop in the player scouts who had hoped he would play in the league. At the end of his rookie season, Faried finished third in the 2011-12 NBA Rookie of the Year poll.
He played for the Nuggets for a total of seven seasons, averaging 8.2 rebounds and 11.4 points per game in 441 games before moving to the Brooklyn Nets in 2018. With his new team, Faried hopes for a fresh start after falling in the pecking order on his previous team.
Kenneth Faried Parents
The parents of Kenneth Faried were never married. His mother Waudda, who, after Kenneth began to identify himself as gay and married another woman, sister Manasin, was a star basketball player in high school. She was especially responsible for making her son tougher as she always insisted that he play the ball back before he even thought about scoring. This meant that Faried always had to outdo and fight the opponents to get the ball, something that continued throughout his playing career and earned him the nickname Manimal. His mother’s struggle with lupus and her sexuality also helped tame him, as he always had to look after his sick mother before she found a partner for it, while he also fought against people who made fun of his mother’s clothes or even accused him of being gay as well.
Faried’s father, Kenneth Sr., was also quite active in his son’s life, although he lived far away from him and his mother. When Faried had to move to Denver, Colorado, to join the Nuggets, it was Kenneth Sr. who moved with him and further encouraged him to talk about his family’s history to open the conversion about homophobia.
Height, Weight, and Body Stats
Height: 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m)
Weight: 228 pounds (103 kg)
Wingspan: 7 feet 0 inches
Hand Length: 8.5 cm
Hand Width: 10.3 cm