The Pacers added depth to their depleted center group Friday, signing G League center Amida Brimah to a two-way deal, according to ESPN. Brimah, a four-year pro, has never appeared in an NBA regular-season game.
Here are four things to know about Brimah.
1. Amida Brimah was an Indiana Pacer before
After going undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft, Brimah spent two separate preseason stints with the San Antonio Spurs before landing with the Pacers preseason squad in 2019. He was waived and joined the Pacers before the 2020 season again, but didn’t make the team for a second time.
After he was waived, Brimah joined the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the G League Bubble (the same place the Pacers found the now-multi-year committed forward Oshae Brissett). Brimah played solidly in his 10-game stint with the Mad Ants, averaging 8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game while blocking 2.8 shots per contest.
2. Amida Brimah was born in Accra, Ghana
According to the Hartford Courant, Brimah didn’t pick up basketball until he was 16 and was still considering the possibility of playing soccer. But he kept growing and two years later in 2012, he enrolled at Archbishop Carroll High School in Miami where he started to gain attention from college scouts for his shot-blocking prowess. He blocked more than 6 shots per game in high school according to ghanaweb.com.
3. Amida Brimah starred on defense at UConn
Though Brimah occasionally missed time due to injury and was limited offensively (6.7 points per game at UConn), he established himself as one of the premier interior disruptors in the American Athletic Conference during his four years as a center for Connecticut. His best season came as a sophomore, where the 6-foot-10, long-armed center averaged 9.1 points per game and blocked 121 shots across 35 contests (3.5 per game). He 367 blocks are third in program history, his .644 field goal percentage ranks No. 1.
Amida Brimah, #37, is photographed during the Indiana Pacers Media Day, held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, on Friday, September 27, 2019. (Photo: Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar)
Brimah’s UConn teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament twice. In 2016, he was on the court for one of the best buzzer-beaters in college basketball history, when UConn guard Jalen Adams sunk a near-full court shot to send their AAC quarterfinal game into a fourth overtime. UConn would win the game the next period, which was integral to their NCAA Tournament campaign. He has made the G League all-defensive team twice.
4. Amida Brimah made a huge free throw on the NCAA title run
Brimah was not a good free throw shooter. He hit 82.4% in 34 attempts as a junior in 2015-16 but was 65.0% or worse his other three seasons and 64.4% overall. But he completed a three-point play with 39 seconds remaining in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Saint Joseph’s in 2014; UConn would win 89-81 in overtime and win the national title.
“To be honest, I didn’t know the magnitude of what we did at that time,” Brimah told courant.com, “not until I left UConn. Then I realized we really did something great. My greatest moment was that play, I guess.”
Doug McDermott full practice participant
Doug McDermott was a full participant in practice Friday after missing Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma City, Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren said.
McDermott has been hampered by an ankle injury that he had played through for several games prior to missing the game Wednesday. The Pacers were without six rotation players (including TJ Warren) in the win over the Thunder. Most notably, the Pacers were without any centers with Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and Goga Bitadze all out with injuries, and Jakarr Sampson missing the game due to suspension.
“We pretty much had five guards,” Caris LeVert said. “We’ll be like that for a while.”
Turner and Sabonis missed Friday’s practice while Bjorkgren said Jeremy Lamb was a “40%” participant in practice. Bjorkgren said Turner and Sabonis both participated in light activities off to the side of practice.