The Portland Trail Blazers' newest player and civic folk hero, Enes Kanter, will observe Ramadan this year during the NBA playoffs—a first for the Turkish center who joined the Portland squad mid-season.
Kanter, the New York Times reports, has fasted while playing professional basketball for the past decade, starting when he was 16. But the past couple of Ramadans happened during the off-season. This is the first time Kanter will observe Ramadan during the playoffs.
During Ramadan, daytime fasting can last up to 15 or 18 hours. The New York Times reports Kanter starts his day with yogurt, peanut butter, fruit and as much water as he can drink during a pre-dawn meal called suhur.
"I actually work harder during Ramadan because my body's used to it," Kanter tells the Times.
Ramadan, in Islam, is a holy month observed by fasting—avoiding eating, drinking, sex and smoking during daytime hours. It marks the month when God is said to have revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
This year, Ramadan started on May 5 and ends June 4.
Trail Blazers reporter Casey Holdahl got a detailed fasting schedule from Kanter this morning.
As WW reported last week, the Blazers have three Muslim players, the most in the NBA. Almong with Kanter, Al-Farouq Aminu and Jusuf Nurkic are Muslim. Nurkic sent out a Ramadan message today.
On Tuesday, the Blazers take on the Denver Nuggets for the fifth game in the Western Conference Semifinals.