Wenyen Gabriel (born March 26, 1997) is a South Sudanese-American professional basketball player for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA), on a two-way contract with the Stockton Kings of the NBA G League. He played collegiately for the Kentucky Wildcats. Gabriel was a 5-star prospect who in 2016 was ranked number 14 on ESPN's Top 100.
Gabriel at Kentucky's 2016 Blue-White scrimmage
|No. 32 – Sacramento Kings|
|Born||March 26, 1997|
|Nationality||South Sudanese / American|
|Listed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Listed weight||213 lb (97 kg)|
|NBA draft||2018 / Undrafted|
|Career highlights and awards|
High school careerEdit
Gabriel attended Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts since 2014. Prior to that, he played at Trinity High School in Manchester, New Hampshire for three years. As a senior in 2015-16, he averaged 22.0 points per game, 14.0 rebounds per game, 7.0 blocks per game and 6.3 assists per game. In October 2015, he announced his decision to enroll at the University of Kentucky. Maryland, Duke, UConn and Providence were other schools on his shortlist. He played 19:17 minutes in the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit, scoring two points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out two assists. He also played in the 2016 Jordan Brand Classic. Gabriel was rated as a five-star recruit and ranked #14 in the Class of 2016 by ESPN.
He made his debut for the UK Wildcats in an exhibition game on 31 October 2016 against Clarion University, tallying nine points, two rebounds and one assist in 17 minutes coming off the bench. As a freshman, he played in 38 games, including 23 starts, averaging 4.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in 17.8 minutes. During his sophomore year, Gabriel became more of a key figure for Kentucky's success that season, tallying 6.8 points and 5.4 rebounds in 37 games. He led UK with 40 blocked shots.
Gabriel was born in Khartoum, Sudan, on 26 March 1997. Because his sister – born a year earlier – had died in infancy, Gabriel was given the name "Wenyen", which means "wipe your tears" in his native Dinka language. Two weeks after he was born, Gabriel's mother, Rebecca Gak, moved with him and his three siblings to Cairo, Egypt to escape the violence of the Second Sudanese Civil War. While Gabriel's mother worked to earn enough money to move his father, Makuac, to Cairo, his seven-year-old brother, Komot, became Gabriel's primary care giver. Two years after moving to Egypt, the United Nations granted an appeal to move the refugee family to Manchester, New Hampshire, an American city with a large South Sudanese population.
- "Wenyen Gabriel's High School Basketball Stats". MaxPreps.com. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Ex-Trinity hoop star Wenyen Gabriel commits to Kentucky | New Hampshire". UnionLeader.com. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Kentucky basketball: Wenyen Gabriel commits to Wildcats, coach John Calipari". UPI. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "USA Wins Nike Hoop Summit 101-67". www.usab.com. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
- "Live Basketball (M)! Clarion vs. Kentucky". University of Kentucky | Official Athletics Site. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
- "Basketball (M) Stats - UK Wildcats". University of Kentucky | Official Athletics Site. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- "Wenyen Gabriel - 2017-18 Men's Basketball Roster - University of Kentucky". ukathletics.com. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- release, Official. "Forty-three international early entry candidates withdraw from NBA Draft 2018 | NBA.com". NBA.com. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- "NBA Draft 2018: Kentucky's Wenyen Gabriel goes undrafted". CatsPause. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- "Official: Wenyen Gabriel joins Sacramento Kings for Summer League | Kentucky Sports Radio". kentuckysportsradio.com. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
- "Kings Sign Wenyen Gabriel to a Two-Way Contract | Sacramento Kings". Sacramento Kings. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- Tipton, Jerry (7 October 2016). "Gabriel's journey to UK includes stops in Sudan, Cairo, New Hampshire". Lexington Herald-Leader.
- Braziller, Zach. "Wenyen Gabriel: From Africa war to doorstep of NCAA hoops elites". New York Post. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "PREP SCHOOL BASKEBALL: Wilbraham & Monson standout Wenyen Gabriel selected to the USA Basketball Juniors National Team". www.bostonherald.com. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "USA Selection Caps Rise For Wenyen Gabriel". www.usab.com. Retrieved 12 February 2016.