Summer 2024

Kings guard Buddy Hield thanks God after winning NBA 3-point contest

Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield proved he was one of the best shooters in the NBA on Saturday night when he won the 3-point contest during the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend.

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Hield trailed Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker by one point with one shot remaining, a two-point money ball. A miss and he would lose. A make and he would win. Hield drained it and bounded across the court in celebration as the crowd erupted.

After he received his trophy and congratulations from his seven other competitors, some of whom included Hawks guard Trae Young and Bulls guard Zach Levine, Hield remembered the One who had given him his abilities.

“First of all, I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to come out here and perform in Chicago on this All-Star Weekend,” Hield told TNT. “That’s all I’ve got to say.”

In a Sports Spectrum Magazine article from 2016, Hield said that his mother taught him what it meant to be a true follower of Christ as a young child in the Bahamas.

“I will read the Psalms (before every game), which is what my mother taught me to do at an early age,” Hield said. “I know she will be praying, and so will I. It calms me down.”

Hield has carried that foundation of faith with him throughout his life and into his successful career in the NBA, and his ties to the Caribbean nation that raised him remain strong. After leaving the court on Saturday night, Hield’s thoughts were back with the people of the Bahamas. He dedicated his 3-point contest victory to the victims of Hurricane Dorian. Last September, the Category 5 hurricane ravaged the island and resulted in 70 deaths, 282 people still reported missing and $3.4 billion in damage.

“I do it for the people back home,” Hield told the The Sacramento Bee. “I do it for me and my family. Thank God I have the ability to do that. People back home, they enjoy this more than I do. Being from the Bahamas and getting to represent them, it means the world to them. I do it on the highest level that I can and be the role model for the kids down there to show them, if I can do it … anything is possible.”

All those who admire Hield have reveled in his basketball success.

In college at Oklahoma, Hield won numerous awards as he led the Sooners to the Final Four as a senior in 2016, including the Naismith College Player of the Year. He was drafted No. 6 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans later that year and was named to the NBA All-Rookie first team. Now in his third full season in Sacramento, Hield is averaging 20.4 points per game with 5.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

Last weekend, Hield connected on his 800th 3-pointer in his 296th career game, surpassing two-time MVP Steph Curry as the fastest player in NBA history to reach that milestone. He can now add the title of 3-point shootout champion to his growing list of accolades.

“It felt great,” Hield said to The Sacramento Bee. “As a shooter, this is on your bucket list.”

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