Many high school basketball stars can’t wait to finish their first year of college so they can make themselves available for the NBA draft. Several of them, such as former Maryland center Diamond Stone, leave before they’re ready.

For Bruno Fernando, the dream of becoming the first Angolan to play in the NBA — a dream that began as a young teenager growing up in Luanda after he gave up soccer — is about to become a reality Thursday. Along with his physical talent, Fernando’s rise has a lot to do with being grounded.

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