Hasheem Thabeet: The Tanzanian Tower.

Jordan VlachContributor IJanuary 2, 2010

Standing at 7-3 the 22 year old Hasheem Thabeet is living the American dream. Being born in Tanzania, and losing his father to diabetes, Thabeet has done quite well.

Thabeet did not start playing basketball until the tender age of 15. He had no interest in playing basketball until one of his fellow classmates was amazed by his height and talked him into playing. If it wasn’t for that one friend, Thabeet would not be in a Memphis Grizzlies uniform making nearly $4,500,000.

Little was known about Thabeet when he went to UConn, all Jim Calhoun knew was he had a player with raw potential with a 7-3 270 lb body. Hasheem shined in his 3 years at UConn, and was selected 2nd overall in the 2009 NBA draft.

Now, potential is the big question. If you’re Memphis do you draft a player that high solely on potential, or do you draft a guy that you know is NBA ready as soon as David Stern says his name.

Playing only 10 mpg, Is he NBA ready? - No. Will he be in the next two to three years- my opinion is yes. Thabeet’s development has been tremendous if you take into consideration where he has been, and only playing the game about 7 years.

It’s just a waiting game for the Grizzlies; will Thabeet be a bust or the next Dikembe Mutombo.? Time will only tell.