Amida Brimah 2021 Season Review

Pacers center Amida Brimah recalls getting the offer to join the Pacers, scoring his first NBA points, and returning from a torn ACL.

Brimah 2021 Player Review

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Amida Brimah 2021 Season Review

Pacers center Amida Brimah recalls getting the offer to join the Pacers, scoring his first NBA points, and returning from a torn ACL.
Jun 6, 2021  |  02:31

Amida Brimah 2020-21 Season Highlights

Check out some of the top plays from Amida Brimah's 2020-21 season.
Jun 5, 2021  |  00:57

2021 Exit Interview: Amida Brimah

May 21, 2021 - Pacers center Amida Brimah discusses joining the team late in the season on a two-way contract, making his NBA debut, and his goals for the offseason.
May 21, 2021  |  01:36

Player Review 2021: Amida Brimah

by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Age: 27
Years Pro: 1
Status: Signed two-way contract with Pacers on April 23.
Key Stats: Appeared in five games after signing with Indiana late in the regular season, averaging 2.6 points on 62.5 percent shooting, 1.6 rebounds, and 1 block. Averaged 8 points on 56.9 percent shooting, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks over 10 games while playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the G League bubble.

For Amida Brimah, this was the season he finally achieved his dream of playing in the NBA.

It hasn't been the easiest path for Brimah, a 6-10 center who was born in Ghana before coming to the United States as a teenager. He spent four years at the University of Connecticut, where he won a national championship as a freshman, but he went undrafted in 2017.

Brimah has spent most of his professional career in the G League, including two seasons with the Austin Spurs. He signed an Exhibit 10 contract with Indiana in 2019 and attended training camp with the Pacers that fall with plans of suiting up for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants when the G League season began. But Brimah suffered a setback when he tore his right ACL in a workout, ending his season before it started.

PHOTO GALLERY: Amida Brimah's 2020-21 Season in Photos »

Brimah was supposed to join the Pacers for training camp again this season, but issues with his work visa prevented him from attending. He was eventually cleared, however, and joined the Mad Ants in the G League bubble in February.

In 10 games with the Mad Ants, Brimah played well. He averaged 8 points and 8.5 rebounds, but his most impressive work came on the defensive end, where he swatted away 2.8 shots per game, the second-best average in the entire G League.

But because of COVID-19, the G League season was much shorter than usual. Rather than having months to put together tape for scouts, Brimah had just a few weeks in Orlando. After that, he went back to his offseason home in Florida and continued to work out, unsure when his next opportunity would arise.

In late April, the call Brimah had been waiting for for four years finally came. The Pacers were extremely shorthanded in the frontcourt, with all three of their centers (Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, and Goga Bitadze) dealing with injuries. So Indiana decided to call in reinforcements and Brimah got the call.

Brimah signed a two-way contract on April 23 and made his NBA debut just two nights later, logging five minutes and tallying a block in a win at Orlando.

Amida Brimah

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

On April 27, he scored his first points after checking in at the 8:32 mark in the fourth quarter of a blowout loss to Portland at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Brimah converted a layup off a dish from T.J. McConnell less than a minute into his stint, then threw down a dunk off an alley-oop from Aaron Holiday two possessions later.

He added a pair of free throws in the final minute, finishing with a stat line of six points, three rebounds, and two blocks.

Brimah appeared in three more games over the rest of the regular season. His most significant playing time came in Indiana's 57-point drubbing of the Thunder in Oklahoma City on May 1, where he logged 12 minutes and tallied seven points, four rebounds, two blocks, and one assist.

Brimah actually saw the court in both of Indiana's Play-In Tournament games as well and scored three points from the free throw line in the season finale in Washington.

After the season, Brimah credited a number of his veteran teammates, including Turner and Sabonis with mentoring him during his brief time with the team. Brimah knew he would play a limited role, but wanted to absorb everything he could and take advantage of his few opportunities for game action.

"Especially on this level, I know I'm not going to be like the leading scorer or the best player on the team," he told the media in the days following his Pacers debut. "But I know what I need to do so whenever my name is called I have to be ready. And whenever I step on the court, I have to bring that energy off the bench."

It's anyone's guess what the future holds for Brimah. Uncertainty is a way of life for journeymen in professional basketball.

But Brimah can now say one thing that he couldn't just a couple months ago. He is an NBA veteran.

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