After breaking a long-standing NCAA rebound record as a student-athlete with Morehead State, Kenneth Faried had the world in his hands when he entered the NBA as the 22nd overall pick in the 2011 draft. The New Jersey native who was awarded the NBA Community Assist and J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2013 has, however, not quite lived up to expectation but is hoping to have a career resurgence with his new team the Brooklyn Nets.
Early Life and Career
Kenneth Faried was born Kenneth Bernard Faried Lewis to Waudda Faried and Kenneth Lewis on the 19th of November 1989 in Newark, New Jersey. As a young boy, Faried was inspired to play basketball by both his parents who enjoyed playing pick up games together. By the time he was 9 years of age, he had begun begging to join the play as he was outstanding when he lined up against his peers.
Faried attended Technology High School in Newark, New Jersey where he grew a 6 feet 7 inches body frame and was practically bullying every other kid on the court, although he first had to battle asthma which first restricted his performances. Despite his on-court talents, Faried suffered academically and this discouraged big college programs from recruiting him. This meant he had to attend a smaller school that did not mind so much about his grades.
The ball player went on to enroll at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky in 2007. Here, Faried became a beast on the board as he was unplayable when it came to catching a rebound. He first led the Ohio Valley Conference in rebounds for both his sophomore and junior years before going ahead to break and set the NCAA Division I career rebounding record previously held by Tim Duncan (1,570 rebounds) with 1,673 rebounds. He was further twice named his conference’s Player of the Year as he earned a consensus second-team All-American mention and the 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 pick. His first few weeks in the NBA did not go as planned as he struggled to get game time since he was playing as a backup to Nene Hilario. However, after the starting power forward got injured, Faried impressed his coaches and also became a fan favorite with his dunks and aggressiveness on the board, which helped him get the starting job. His rival for the starting spot was further traded to another team, giving room for him to blossom into the player scouts had hoped he would be in the league. At the end of his rookie season, Faried came third in the 2011-12 NBA Rookie of the Year voting.
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 he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in 2018. With his new team, Faried will be hoping to get a fresh start after having fallen down the pecking order in his previous team.
Kenneth Faried’s Parents
Kenneth Faried’s parents were never married. His mother, Waudda, who after having Kenneth began to identify as gay and went on to marry another woman, Sister Manasin, was a star basketball player in high school. She was particularly responsible for toughening up her son as she always insisted that he rebounds the ball before even thinking of scoring. This meant that Faried would always have to outmuscle and battle opponents to get to the ball, something that stuck all through his playing career and earned him the Manimal nickname. His mother’s battle with lupus and her sexuality also played a role in toughening him up as he always had to care for his ailing mother before she found a partner to do so while also fighting people who made fun of his mother’s dressing or even accused him of also being gay.
Faried’s father, Kenneth Sr., was also quite active in his son’s life even though he lived away from him and his mother. When Faried had to move to Denver, Colorado to join up with the Nuggets, it was Kenneth Sr. who moved with him and further encouraged him to speak up about his family’s story in order 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