Historic. Neemias Queta reach NBA

    The post Neemias Queta, 22 years old, was elected in the 39th position of the North American Basketball League (NBA) draft at dawn this Friday, by the Sacramento Kings, and may become the first in 2021/22 Portuguese playing in the competition. The player born in Barreiro thus became the first Portuguese player to reach the most famous and spectacular basketball league in the world.

    “I can’t wait to go to Sacramento. Come on, Kings!”, wrote the 22-year-old Portuguese international on his official Instagram account, in a publication accompanied by two photos in which he appears in a formal costume.

    The Portuguese international finished his university career with averages of 13.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 throws and 2.0 assists, with 59.4% in field throws, numbers that convinced the whole of the Western Conference .

    Quetão, as Neemias Queta Barbosa is known, had been living the American dream for a long time. At 22 years old and 2.11 meters tall, with big hands and long arms, he went to the US on a college scholarship in 2018. He made his way through the college championship, always with the NBA on the horizon. In 2019 he opened his heart to DN and confessed that, for him, “a tackle is one of the best things you can do” and that “I would like to be a player with great potential in the NBA and reach the hall of fame”. This dawn could finally begin to make that dream come true.

    The ‘good giant’ Neemias Queta, a boy from Vale da Amoreira, had the dream of playing in the North American Basketball League (NBA) and, at age 22, reality is there, the present is the Sacramento Kings.

    To those who laughed in his face, when he said he wanted to reach the main competition in the world, he responded with work and, three years after leaving Portugal for the United States, he was elected in 39th position in the ‘draft’ and is months away from join the basketball elite. The 2021/22 season starts on October 19th.

    “When I said I wanted to get to the NBA, there were people who laughed in my face, there were people who said it wasn’t possible. And I didn’t worry about that. You have to believe in what you think you can do,” he said. , recently, the Portuguese international.

    Interestingly, the NBA career in the city where Portuguese base Patrícia ‘Ticha’ Penicheiro, girl from Figueira da Foz, who played 12 times in the Sacramento Monarchs, becoming champion in 2005.

    Neemias Queta became a player in Barreiro, at the service of the historic Barreirense, trainer club for which he played for the U-14, U-16 and U-18, before heading to Benfica, in 2017/18, playing mostly in the secondary team, in Proliga, with episodic passages through the main formation.

    The post, born on July 13, 1999, ended the first season for the ‘incarnates’ without immense prominence, without seeing a prodigy there, when he turned 19, but he thought, confident, fearless, that it was the right time to set off on adventure.

    He headed to Utah State University, to the Aggies, a team that doesn’t belong to the elite of NCAA basketball, and in a short time he began to show his value, becoming an idol and a reference, with obvious improvements in all aspects of the game. your game.

    The Portuguese post is not an excellent scorer, a talented pitcher or an unstoppable player, but, defensively, it is a wonder, there, next to the rim, its wingspan intimidates, there, in the territory of ‘giants’, you can never throw comfortable in front of you.

    The Sacramento Kings have chosen a player who is a true specialist in defense, a basketball player who has increasingly distinguished himself in the ‘art’ of throwing tackles and ‘cleaning’ the tables, especially the defensive one, ensuring rebounds.

    In the offensive chapter, Neemias Queta has also made progress, namely in medium-distance throws – you won’t be likely to see him throwing ‘triples’ – and especially close to the basket, where his individual technique helps him.

    From 2018/19 to 2020/21, in the university chapter, the Portuguese international averaged 13.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 throws and 2.0 assists, with 59.4% in field launches .

    These are three-year averages, but there are other numbers that show the evolution of a player who, even so, is far from being a ‘finished product’: he had an average of 11.8 points in the first season, 13 ,0 in the second and 14.9 in the third).

    In 2020/21, it really ended, and for the first time, with an average of ‘double double’ (14.9 points and 10.1 rebounds), plus a record of 3.3 throwing trips, which made it a four finalists to the Naismith College Basketball Defender of the Year (NCAA) award.

    Neemias stood out individually and was instrumental in Utah State’s collective success, which led to victory at the Montain West Conference in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, he did not achieve that goal, but he still made ‘March Madness’.

    The Aggies went down in the first round to Texas Tech (53-65) despite 11 points, 14 rebounds, eight tackles, six assists and a steal from Nehemiah, in his college farewell, before proposing to ‘ draft’, abdicating the ‘senior’ era, which happened on March 29th.

    “After conversations with my family and members of the Utah State University technical team, I decided to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA and declare myself for the NBA ‘draft’ 2021,” he then wrote in his Twitter account.

    In 2019, he had also declared himself eligible and ended up backing down, but this time the decision was irreversible and Neemias Queta is now part of the NBA and in 2021/22 he will certainly become the first Portuguese to make the dream come true .

    The ‘good giant’ from Barreiro is there and will make his dream come true, which belonged to Carlos Lisboa, in the 80s of the last century, to João ‘Betinho’ Gomes, more recently, and a little of everyone who, kids, started to dribbling a basketball and hearing about the ‘magical’ world of the NBA. Portugal will enter the ‘map’.

    @ DN

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