Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, an observant Muslim, will fast throughout Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, according to the New York Times’ Spencer Mestel. In the story, Kanter explains how the teams around the league have made him feel comfortable by providing him with a place to pray, halal food, and a general understanding of his sometimes unique needs. However, this is the first time in his professional career that Ramadan aligns with the postseason.
This year, with Ramadan beginning on Sunday, his fast will come during Portland’s second-round series against the Denver Nuggets. He’s averaging nearly 20 points and more than 10 rebounds per game against Denver, and has been a surprise difference-maker for the Blazers behind Damian Lillard.
During Ramadan, observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Kanter has specific plans in place to ensure he does not miss suhur, the last meal before sunrise.
On Monday, around 4 a.m., Enes Kanter will wake up, eat a light breakfast of yogurt, fruit and peanut butter, and drink as much water as he can. Then for the roughly 16 hours between sunrise and sunset in Portland, Ore., the center for the Portland Trail Blazers will abstain from eating, drinking and taking medicine, even for the shoulder he separated almost two weeks ago.
It remains to be seen how the extended fast will impact Kanter’s performance, given that he fasts “once or twice a week” when it isn’t Ramadan. Kanter has been a difference-maker in the postseason, displaying a new level of toughness against the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic. Given how this team has embraced each other, there is no doubt Kanter will receive support from his teammates during his fast.
You can read the full story at The New York Times.