Kyrie Irving’s Secret to Playing So Well While Fasting for Ramadan


Kyrie Irving’s left-handed game-winner against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday was miraculous enough on its own. But it was even more special considering he did not eat or drink a thing all day in the lead-up to the game.

Irving converted to Islam in 2021 and takes part in Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, prayer and reflection observed by over 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.

“Ramadan is a special time,” Irving said this week. “You try not to think about the suffering too much and really focus on the journey with God and the path that you’re on and just stay focused on that.

“It’s a difficult journey. To be able to play 48 minutes and do it without having a drink or any food in my stomach is nothing short of a miracle.”

Since Ramadan began earlier this month, Irving has averaged 27.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 2 steals per game on 53.8 percent shooting from the field. Incredibly, all five of those metrics are higher than his season averages.

The star point guard has credited much of his recent success to the unwavering support he has received from those within the Mavericks organisation, especially assistant coach and fellow Muslim God Shammgod.

The team has even employed a personal chef to fly around the country with Irving and ensure he has vegan meals ready for when he can break his fast at sundown each night.

Irving isn’t the first NBA player to compete while fasting for Ramadan, but his efforts this year have been especially spectacular. His superstar teammate Luka Doncic can attest to that.

“I wouldn’t be able to do it. I’m impressed,” Doncic said. “He’s different, he’s different.”

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