WAR AND PEACE I was born in civil war and had no shoes growing up – now I’m an NBA rookie at 27 and making millions

PORTLAND Trail Blazers center Duop Reath had to experience a difficult childhood in order to be the successful man he is today.

The NBA rookie is 27 years of age and has made millions of dollars in the league.

Portland Trail Blazers center Duop Reath has played his first year in the NBA this season at the age of 27
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Portland Trail Blazers center Duop Reath has played his first year in the NBA this season at the age of 27Credit: Getty



Reath had rough hardships in his journey to receiving millions of dollars in the NBA
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Reath had rough hardships in his journey to receiving millions of dollars in the NBACredit: Getty


Despite being a rookie, the 27-year-old Reath is the third-oldest player on the Trail Blazers squad, only behind Jerami Grant, 30, and 31-year-old Malcolm Brogdon.

It wasn’t easy for Reath to make to the NBA.

In 1996, Reath was born in the village of Waat which is now South Sudan in East Africa.

He grew up in an area where the country was experiencing the second Sudanese Civil War.

Reath’s family lived in a small hut and he didn’t own a pair of shoes.

At the age of 5, Reath, his parents and two siblings were kicked out of their home because of the war and had to move to the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

Reath would play plenty of soccer to escape the hardships he faced.

In 2005, Reath and his family were able to move to Australia thanks to his uncle.

Reath began to adapt at the age of 12 years old when his family moved to Perth.

He transitioned from playing soccer to getting familiar with basketball.


I know I’m March Madness underdog and not going to the NBA – but I can compete with the best and am not a Cinderella
The rest would be history after Reath joined an out-of-school league playing in the South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association, which had two national tournaments each year.

Teams across the country played in the tournament, and Marcus King, an assistant coach from Lee, a college in Texas, noticed Reath’s abilities.

King gave him a scholarship and after some convincing, Reath took it.



In his sophomore year, Reath averaged 14.6 points and 8.4 rebounds.

Reath won a bronze medal with the Australian basketball team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
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Reath won a bronze medal with the Australian basketball team at the 2020 Tokyo OlympicsCredit: Getty
He transferred to LSU and averaged more than 12 points in each of his last two collegiate seasons.

Reath went on to play for the Dallas Mavericks’ Summer League team in 2018 after going undrafted.

For the next five years, he would go on four different NBA Summer League squads and play for four different countries.

During that span, Reath won a bronze medal with the Australian basketball team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Finally, in 2023, Reath signed with the Portland Trail Blazers, and hasn’t looked back.

He made his NBA debut on November 12 against the Los Angeles Lakers, and scored 11 points with three 3-pointers.

After a 15-game run in which the 27-year-old averaged 8.2 points and 2.8 rebounds, Portland gave Reath a three-year contract worth $6.2 million.

Reath has felt thankful for his family and others who helped him make his dream a reality.

“I felt a sense of gratitude,” Reath said, via ESPN. “Reflecting on my journey, I feel like every experience played a major role to put me in the position I am today.”




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