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Wenyen Gabriel to participate in Paris 2024 Olympics with South Sudan Basketball


Wenyen Gabriel KentuckyPhoto via FIBA Basketball

The University of Kentucky just added yet another former athlete to its list of participants in the 2024 Summer Games in Paris coming up next month.

On Tuesday, the Kentucky Men’s Basketball Twitter account announced that former Wildcat Wenyen Gabriel will be in Paris for the games competing as part of the South Sudan basketball team.

Here was the tweet with the Gabriel news:

#OlympiansMadeHere x @WenyenGabriel, Team South Sudan 🇸🇸

📰🔗https://t.co/Xn1Jiw9bQU pic.twitter.com/iREoOy3Lys

— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) July 9, 2024

Gabriel committed to Kentucky as part of the remarkable 2016 recruiting class which also included De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe, as well as another Olympian, Bam Adebayo, who is on Team USA.

Wenyen Garbiel played just two seasons for the Wildcats, starting with John Calipari’s electric 2017 team, where he started and served as a role player at forward for a squad that earned a No. 2 seed and made a run to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament that season, losing to eventual national champion North Carolina on a buzzer-beater shot by Luke Maye.

In 2018, Gabriel returned and was not a starter for most of the year, but arguably was a bigger contributor for what was a much younger and more up-and-down 2018 club. He averaged 6.8 points per game and emerged as an NBA prospect thanks to his defense and three-point shooting inside a quite versatile and athletic 6-foot-9 frame.

Gabriel’s best game of his career came against Alabama in the SEC Tournament, where he knocked down all seven of his 3-point attempts to lead a victory, again showing off a much-improved shooting stroke compared to his rookie campaign.

Out of college, Gabriel wasn’t immediately coveted by NBA teams, but he grinded his way onto a roster by October of 2019 and was able to stick on a couple of playoff teams. He played for the Portland Trail Blazers when they were still experiencing success with Damian Lillard, and then wound up with the Los Angeles Lakers alongside LeBron James and another former Wildcat, Anthony Davis, for a few seasons.

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