Joel Embiid learned to shoot by searching YouTube for 'white people shooting 3 pointers'

  • Joel Embiid wrote about his journey from Cameroon to the NBA in a recent piece for The Players' Tribune.
  • In the story, Embiid describes how he developed his shooting range — searching YouTube for "WHITE PEOPLE SHOOTING 3 POINTERS."
  • Embiid is now a career 32.7% three-point shooter during his time in the NBA.
     

Joel Embiid might be the most entertaining player in the NBA.

Between his dominance on the court, his constant trolling on social media, and his habit of dunking on random strangers on courts across Philadelphia, you'd have a tough time finding someone having more fun with the game of basketball than Embiid.

In a recent story for The Players' Tribune, Embiid revealed how he developed his game, and specifically, his range from three. As Embiid writes, when he came over to America from Cameroon to play basketball, he was very competitive, but his skills were extremely raw. He would run three-point drills with a teammate after practice, and after losing too many times, decided he needed to make a change.

"So I'm chilling one night, and I go on YouTube, and I'm thinking I'm about to figure this shooting thing out. I go to the search box like….

HOW TO SHOOT 3 POINTERS.

Nah.

HOW TO SHOOT GOOD FORM

Nah.

Then the light bulb went off, man. I typed in the magic words.

WHITE PEOPLE SHOOTING 3 POINTERS."

Embiid concedes that he might have been playing into a stereotype, but he couldn't deny the results.

"Have you ever seen a normal, 30-year-old white guy shoot a three-pointer?" Embiid asks. "That elbow is tucked, man. The knees are bent. The follow-through is perfect. Always. You know how in America, there’s always an older guy wearing like EVERLAST sweat-shorts at the court? That guy is always a problem. His J is always wet."

And so, thanks to YouTube's search function, Embiid found his film to study, and after trusting the process a bit, the results began to show. He started catching his teammate in drills, and his newfound range helped his overall game.

In the NBA, Embiid is a career 32.7% three-point shooter — not bad for a big man that dominates under the basket and came in second place in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

As Embiid puts it, his life is like a movie — going from living in Cameroon watching Kobe play on his television to playing against Bryant during his final season in the league. You can read his entire piece for the Players' Tribune here.

29 PHOTOS
Joel Embiid through his career
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Joel Embiid through his career
Kansas' Joel Embiid reacts to the crowd after his dunk forced a Towson timeout in the second half at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Ks., Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. Kansas defeated Towson, 88-58. (Rich Sugg/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
AMES, IA - JANUARY 13: Center Joel Embiid #21 of the Kansas Jayhawks adjusts his glasses during the second half against the Iowa State Cyclones on January 13, 2014 at Hilton Coliseum, in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MAY 8: NBA Draft prospect Joel Embiid behind the scenes on May 8, 2014 at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)
TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 3: Joel Embiid #11 of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a portrait during the 2014 NBA rookie photo shoot on August 3, 2014 at the Madison Square Garden Training Facility in Tarrytown, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau /NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 06: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers plays against the Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center on October 6, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Wizards defeated the 76ers 125-119 in double overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 15: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on prior to the game against the Detroit Pistons at Wells Fargo Center on October 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 26: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center on October 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Thunder defeated the 76ers 103-97. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 1: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Orlando Magic at Wells Fargo Center on November 1, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Magic defeated the 76ers 103-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA,PA - NOVEMBER 7: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers goes up for the short shot against the Utah Jazz during a game at the Wells Fargo Center on November 7, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers is fouled by C.J. Miles #0 of the Indiana Pacers with Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers looking on from behind and Sergio Rodriguez #14 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacting at the Wells Fargo Center on November 11, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The following free throws cemented the game and Philadelphia won 109-105 in overtime. User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA,PA - NOVEMBER 23: A close up shot of Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Wells Fargo Center on November 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 3: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on prior to the game against the Boston Celtics at Wells Fargo Center on December 3, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 16: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers attempts a lay up against Timofey Mozgov #20 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center on December 16, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Lakers defeated the 76ers 100-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 3: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves boxes out Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers after a foul shot in the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on January 3, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 3: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Wells Fargo Center on January 3, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 16: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots a free throw during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center on January 16, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 20: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers congratulates Robert Covington #33 of the Philadelphia 76ers for hitting the game-winning basket against the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on January 20, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia 76ers won 93-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 16: Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a photo during the 2017 All-Star Media Circuit at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans, LA. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers jokes around during the Philadelphia 76ers Media Day on September 25, 2017 at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex in Camden, New Jersey.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 13: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives toward the basket as Kelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat of the Miami Heat defends during the game at Sprint Center on October 13, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 3: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers warms up prior to the game against the Indiana Pacers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 3, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the game against Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors on November 11, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Comedian Kevin Hart walks into Joel Embiid's #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers post game television interview to congratulate him for scoring career high 46-point against Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center November 15, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork S. Djansezian)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 18: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers runs up the court against the Golden State Warriors at the Wells Fargo Center on November 18, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 25: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Orlando Magic at the Wells Fargo Center on November 25, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks the ball against Channing Frye #8 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on November 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cavaliers defeated the 76ers 113-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 29: A fan takes a video of Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers warming up prior to the game against the Washington Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center on November 29, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Philadelphia Sixers Joel Embiid attends 2017 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Awards at Barclays Center on December 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 7: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Los Angeles Lakers at Wells Fargo Center on December 7, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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