Skal Labissiere 101

Learn more about the quick and talented big man from Haiti.
by Dan Lovi

The Sacramento Kings added another Kentucky Wildcats big to their roster on Thursday night, selecting forward-center Skal Labissiere with the No. 28 overall pick.

Labissiere will team up with fellow Wildcats DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein to form what we may need to lovingly call the BIG Blue Nation.

“I think it’s going to be a good fit learning from DeMarcus Cousins,” Labissiere told media. “Willie Cauley-Stein is there and I know him pretty well. I think they’re going to help me a lot.”

Labissiere was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. During the 2010 Haiti earthquake, his home collapsed, trapping himself, his mother and his brother inside for three hours. The tragic incident left Labissiere unable to walk for weeks.

In the months following the earthquake, Labissiere moved to Memphis, Tennessee with the help of the Reach Your Dream Foundation. He attended school in Memphis, playing varsity basketball when he was in eighth grade.

Labissiere, a native French speaker, required a translator when he first arrived to the U.S., but became fluent in English after a few months.

As a five-star recruit, Labissiere was offered a scholarship to the University of Kentucky; Head Coach John Calipari even compared him to Anthony Davis.

Labissiere averaged 6.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game, starting in half of Kentucky’s contests. Despite his early collegiate struggles, Labissiere hasn’t relinquished the belief he has in himself.

“I still believe it,” he responded, when asked if he would be the best player in the Draft five years from now. “I’m about to go to work, so I’m going to control what I can control.”

Quick Links:


Draft Express Player Profile

Sports Illustrated Q&A

College Stats

Highlights: Kentucky vs. NJIT

Nike Hoop Summit



Players’ Tribune – Earthquake

Rise Above

The Shooting Revolution


Kings Select Skal Labissiere

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