Chris Silva

 

Chris Silva Obame Correia Silva (born September 19, 1996) is a Gabonese professional basketball player for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, on assignment from the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the South Carolina Gamecocks. In 2012, when Silva was 16 years old, he took four different airplane flights to reach the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City from Gabon. He knew no English at the time and had no experience playing organized basketball. When he drew interest from Roselle Catholic High School assistant basketball coach Tommy Sacks, he said, “Coach, I go to NBA.” Sacks later commented, “His ceiling is so high, one of the highest I’ve ever seen, because all he wants to do is get better. He wants to live in the weight room. He wants to run on his own. He wants to work out. He wants to get shots up. Initially, with the Roselle Catholic basketball team, Silva was not aware of the rules of the game. In his senior season, his team won the state championship. Silva drew interest from college basketball programs such as Seton Hall and Rhode Island, and eventually signed with the South Carolina Gamecocks. Silva said, “That’s a great school, great coaches. I like everything about it, the education, the support they give to players after their career—everything.”
In 2017 Silva started all 37 games on the Gamecocks team that reached the Final Four. In 2018 Silva won SEC Co-Defensive player of the year, was First-team All-SEC and was named to the All-Defensive team. He averaged 14.3 points and 8 rebounds per game as a junior and shot 46.7 percent from the floor. Following the season he declared for the NBA draft but did not hire an agent. Silva was not invited to the NBA combine and decided to return to South Carolina. Silva was signed by the Miami Heat on July 11, 2019. On October 19, the Heat converted his deal to a two-way contract with their NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. On October 23, Silva made his NBA debut, coming off the bench in a 120–101 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. He finished with eight points, six rebounds, and three blocks. On January 15, 2020, Silva signed a standard NBA contract with the Heat. The contract lasts until the 2021-2022 season. On January 23, Silva was assigned to the Sioux Falls Skyforce. On January 26, Silva was brought back up to the Miami Heat. On June 11, 2015, Silva was named to the Gabon national basketball team’s preliminary squad for the AfroBasket 2015 by head coach Thierry Bouanga. It was considered a possibility that he would debut alongside ex-NBA player Stéphane Lasme. Silva would participate in a three-week training camp in Libreville in July.

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