Skal Labissière (French pronunciation: ​[labissjɛʁ]; born March 18, 1996) is a Haitian professional basketball player for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He graduated from Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, Tennessee[2] before playing one season of college basketball for Kentucky.

 

 

Early years

Labissière was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. His basketball career began at the Collège Canado-Haïtien, a junior-senior high school in Port-au-Prince, which participated in school championships organized by the Comité Interscolaire de Basket-ball Amateur (CIBA), and the Association de Basket-ball Interscolaire (ASI).[2] During the 2010 Haiti earthquake, his family's home collapsed with Labissière, his mother and his brother inside. All three survived, but were trapped under the debris for three hours. Labissière's legs were trapped, causing them to go numb and he was unable to walk for a few weeks after. A few months after the earthquake, Labissière moved to the United States in Memphis, Tennessee, to live with Gerald Hamilton, who ran the Reach Your Dream Foundation, which brought international prospects to the United States.[25][4][26]

High school career

Labissière attended Evangelical Christian School in Memphis and started to play varsity basketball as an eighth-grader.[25] When he had first arrived, Labissière spoke little English and required a French interpreter in all of his classes. After three to four months, he didn't need the help and became fluent.[25] In 2014, he left the school his senior year and enrolled at Lausanne Collegiate School, also located in Memphis,[27] but because of the move he was ruled by TSSAA as ineligible to play basketball at Lausanne for the season. So instead, Labissière played for Gerald Hamilton's Reach Your Dream Prep Academy team, where he averaged 26 points, 12 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game.[7][8][9][10]

"The harder I work, the better I will be as a basketball player and I'll be able to influence more people around the world."
—Skal Labissière[11]
US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
NameHometownHigh school / collegeHeightWeightCommit date
Skal Labissière
PF/C
Port-au-Prince, HaitiLausanne Collegiate School6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)210 lb (95 kg)Nov 13, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:   Rivals:   247Sports:    ESPN:   ESPN grade: 96
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 1   Rivals: 1  ESPN: 2, 1 (C), 1 (TN)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • . Rivals.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015. 
  • . Scout.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015. 
  • . ESPN.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015. 
  • . Scout.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015. 
  • . Rivals.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015. 

College career

Labissière was rated as a five-star recruit, and was considered among the best players in his class.[28][29] He committed to the University of Kentucky to play college basketball.[30][31][32] UK's coach John Calipari, offered Labissière a scholarship before any other 2015 prospect, comparing him to Anthony Davis.[10] At the start of the season, he was considered a potential #1 draft pick for the 2016 NBA draft.[17] Labissière posted averages of 6.6 points (.516 FG%, .661 FT%), 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 15.8 minutes per game in all 36 games while starting 18 of them for the 2015–16 Kentucky Wildcats.[33]

On April 5, 2016, Labissière declared for the NBA draft, forgoing his final three years of college eligibility.[18]

College statistics

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2015–16Kentucky361815.8.516.000.6613.1.3.31.66.6

Professional career

Sacramento Kings (2016–present)

On June 23, 2016, Labissière was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 28th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, becoming the highest drafted Haitian player since Samuel Dalembert (26th, 2001). His rights were later traded to the Sacramento Kings on draft night,[34] and in July, he joined the Kings for the 2016 NBA Summer League. On July 15, 2016, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Kings.[19] Labissière made his NBA debut on November 5, 2016, recording eight points and three rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench in a 117–91 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.[35] On February 23, 2017, in just his ninth game of the season, Labissière had a season-high 12 points in a 116–100 win over the Denver Nuggets.[36] On March 1, 2017, in his first career start, Labissière had 10 points and five rebounds in 15 minutes in a 109–100 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.[37] On March 15, 2017, he scored 21 of his career-high 32 points in the fourth quarter of the Kings' 107–101 win over Phoenix, becoming the first drafted rookie from the 2016 draft class to score at least 30.[38] He also had 11 rebounds to record his first career double-double.[39] He became the youngest Kings player to record a 30-10 game and the fourth Kings player to do it as a reserves since the 1984–85 season.[40] His point total was the highest for a Kings first-year player since teammate Ben McLemore scored 31 against the Suns his first season in the League. Labissière became only the 41st player in NBA history to score at least 32 points while age 20 or younger—the only other player to achieve this feat in franchise history is Tyreke Evans.[38] During his rookie season, he has had multiple assignments with the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League.[41]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

Regular season

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2016–17Sacramento331218.5.537.375.7034.9.8.5.48.8
Career331218.5.537.375.7034.9.8.5.48.8