LOS ANGELES (AFP) – 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 hourse 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.”