Skal Labissiere is perhaps the most outstanding player of Haitian descent currently shinning in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Tall, quick and multi-talented, Labissiere’s career has only gotten better by the year since going pro in 2016 and the question “Who is Skal Labissiere?” has come to be on the lips of many basketball lovers who can’t help but become curious about the life of the 7-footer. Fortunately, there is a whole lot of information about the Haitian power forward. Here is a detailed answer to the question of Who Skal Labissiere is.
Who Is Skal Labissiere?
Skal Labissiere was born on the 18th of March 1996 in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. While growing up in Haiti, he began playing basketball in school at Collège Canado-Haïtien.
With the varsity team, Skal was able to partake in competitions organized by the Comité Interscolaire de Basketball Amateur (CIBA), and the Association de Basketball Interscolaire (ASI).
6 Facts About The Power Forward
1. Skal Labissiere and his Family were Victims of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake
The young lad was living with his family in the nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince when at the age of 14 years old, they had their lives threatened by the lethal earthquake that hit the nation in 2010.
Labissiere together with his mom and younger brother were in their house when suddenly the house began to shake. Immediately, it started, the family knew what it was and came together, prepared for the worse. In a moment, their house collapsed on them and Skal and his family remained trapped in the debris for three long hours.
At some point, they thought they were going to die but luckily they were rescued. The power forward narrated the experience during his interview with the Player Tribune back in June 2016 after he made it to the NBA. The earthquake left Skal with numb legs and he spent the following few weeks being unable to walk. Fortunately, he healed completely.
2. He Relocated to the United States after the 2010 Earthquake to Continue his Basketball Career
After the earthquake, Skal’s basketball future seemed bleak but thanks to Gerald Hamilton whose Reach Your Dream Foundation helped to bring international prospects to the United States. Skal became a benefactor of the foundation and made it to Memphis, Tennessee to live with Hamilton a few months after the quake.
In Memphis, Skal began attending Evangelical Christian School and fast forward to his 8th grade, he began playing in the varsity basketball team. Skal needed a French interpreter when he first began schooling but after about four months of learning English, he became fluent.
During his senior year in 2014, Skal transferred to Lausanne Collegiate School but due to TSSAA rules, he was unable to play with the varsity team in his first year. However, his career didn’t suffer as he continued to hone his talent with Gerald Hamilton’s Reach Your Dream Prep Academy team.
3. His Stellar Performance had him Rated a 5-Star Recruit and the Best Player in his Class
Though Skal only began playing varsity basketball in the 8th grade, he quickly improved to become the best in his class. The University of Kentucky’s coach John Calipari greatly admired his skills and compared him to the 2012 NBA Draft first overall pick, Anthony Davis. Calipari offered Skal a scholarship ahead of other 2015 prospects.
4. The Power Forward Forwent his Last 3 Years of College Eligibility to Enter the 2016 NBA Draft
From many people’s perspective, Skal didn’t live up to the high expectations many had of him in college, averaging only 6.6 points in 36 games. Notwithstanding, he was still a first round pick in the 2016 Draft after he forwent the last 3 years of his college eligibility.
The Phoenix Suns selected him with the 28th overall pick, making Skal Labissiere the highest drafted Haitian player since Samuel Dalembert who was selected 26th overall in the 2001 NBA Draft. A couple of weeks after his draft selection, Labissiere was traded to the Sacramento Kings.
5. As a Rookie, Skal Labissiere had Numerous Assignments with the NBA Development League’s Reno Bighorns
Skal had a fairly good rookie season with the Kings. He became the 41st NBA player under 20 years of age to score at least 32 points. Tyreke Evans is the only other player to achieve the feat with the Kings. Skal was sent to the Development League’s Reno Bighorns a number of times in his rookie season but emerged a better player each time.
His rookie contract signed on July 15th, 2016, was a 3-year contract worth $3,945,627 with all of the money guaranteed. The contract gives him an annual salary of $1,315,209 according to Spotrac.