Runaway Semi: Celtics rookie Semi Ojeleye already showing his value

The scene was Thomas & Mack Arena, Las Vegas, NV., July 8, 2017. Our beloved Boston Celtics were playing the Los Angeles Lakers in a Summer League matchup that sounded more like a playoff game than anything. Probably because Lakers fans haven't had much to cheer for in a while.

The crowd cheered, then they jeered after the Celtics took control of the game and grabbed the win. And other than seeing Celtics #3 overall pick Jayson Tatum easily drop 27 on some guy named Ball and the hated Lakers, my fondest memory of that game was the in-game announcer's struggles with the pronouncing of Semi Ojeleye's name.

The announcer should be happy he didn't have to pronounce his full birth name: Jesusemilore Talodabijesu Ojeleye.

But he eventually got it. After all practice makes perfect. And considering Ojeleye netted six field goals, including five from downtown, one thing was certain: the Lakers were having as much trouble defending Ojeleye as the announcer was at saying his name.

Actually, it seemed that every team who faces the Celtics in preseason felt the wrath of going head-on with the Semi.

Trouble defending the former Duke transfer / SMU star and AAC Player of the Year has been a trend all through the preseason though too, although he didn't get many minutes.

Semi's preseason numbers were as follows:

6/12 from downtown (50%)
8/21 from the field (38%)
Averages of six points, 1.75 rebounds in only 17.75 minutes per game.

While those numbers may not jump off your screen, what does jump off is the willingness of "The Terminator" to bang with the big boys under the bucket, flexing his Schwarzennegger-like defensive muscles. Check out the damage he did in his college days to give you a glimpse into our future with Mr. Semi. Would you expect anything else? The man's same is Semi.

Semilore means "gift" in Yoruba, a native Nigerian language. It's safe to say the Celtics were given that gift, seeing as Semi was projected to be a mid-to-late first round pick. As we all saw, he was thankfully available when Boston was making their second round selection at #37 this past draft.


A mix of brute force, determination, athleticism and finesse, along with a beautiful shooting touch, Semi Ojeleye is poised to throw 29 other teams under the bus -- or, under the semi, rather -- for passing on him in the draft.

What do you think of Semi so far? Do you think he'll crack Brad Stevens' regular rotation? Let us know in the comments below. 

Follow Edward Babaian on Twitter: @bojixbabaian

Photo Credit: Getty Images; Boston Herald