Inspired by a South African dialect, my name means “the one who brings joy”. It is precisely the joy of living and the determination that guides my journey since my debut in basketball.
Born May the 2nd 1984 in Switzerland, I grew up in Vevey, a town in the French-speaking part of Switzerland surrounded by lakes and mountains. This is where I made my first encounter with a ball and a basket. At the age of eleven, after attending a training of basketball with a friend, I understood that I was made for this sport. I then committed myself to a regional basketball team. Supported by my family, I quickly was animated by the desire to go further. Between training and my free time, my brother and my friends, I missed no opportunity to improve my game.
My passion for basketball led me to become one of the best young players of my state (Canton de Vaud). In 2001 I joined the Vevey Riviera basketball team, in the Swiss first division. This new step was the door opener for the Swiss national team. This marked the beginning of my adventure in basketball at the national level. From that moment, basketball became for me more than just a game: it became a challenge that I wanted to carry out to the end.
After two years spent in the Swiss league developing my technique, I was spotted in 2002 by the French club of Chalon-sur-Saone in Burgundy. It was an opportunity to advance my career as a professional basketball player beyond the Swiss borders. Determined to go as far as possible in this sport, I therefore did not hesitate a single second and went to France to join the Pro team of Chalon. During the three years I spent there, I strengthened my skills and acquired a taste for defense. It resulted in me being selected to the french “All Star Game” in December 2004 and the nomination by a major French sporting newspaper as one of the best players in the French Championship.
Three seasons passed in France until I left to Italy, in 2005, to continue my career with the Angelico Biella. After having walked the floors of the Italian Championship for one season, my NBA dream was finally materialized.
My adventure in the American basketball league started with the Chicago Bulls drafting me with the 13th pick of the 2006 NBA draft. At the age of 22 I became the first Swiss in history to join the prestigious NBA league. This new progression was the realization of my childhood dream: to evolve among the best basketball players in the world. I consolidated my reputation as a top defender throughout the three seasons I spent with the Bulls.
In 2009, I was transferred to my current team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Today, the dream continues with the Thunder where I found my place as a top-notch defender and together we won the Western Conference title in 2012.
With all the training and perseverance I improved my level of play. But if I live currently this childhood dream of mine it is because my goals remained unchanged since my early days: giving the best of myself!
Coming out of my contract with OKC during summer 2014 , I decided to sign with the Atlanta Hawks . Team booming, I liked their sporting project and I hope to bring all my qualities and my experience to an effective frame and to play for the first places of the east conference.
Through perseverance and training, i mounted level. If I can live that childhood dream now, its only thanks to my unchanged goal remained since my debut: giving the best of myself.