The game’s hunger and thirst never waned for Omar Yurtseven, even as Bam Adebayo’s absence at the Miami Heat reduced his playing time after a breakout month.
But now, as the Heat have finished preparations for their Sunday 1 p.m. NBA playoff opener at the FTX Arena, another hunger and thirst has entered the equation, a rookie center embrace.
As part of its month-long observance of Ramadan, Yurtseven is fasting from dawn to sunset on the evening of 1 April and will continue until the evening of 1 May, those hours without eating or drinking, in the Five Pillars of Islam. since a.
Because the timing of observance is based on the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, Ramadan turns into a 33-year cycle through the months of the Gregorian/Solar calendar used in the United States and elsewhere.
This year, it lasted until the end of the NBA regular season and now despite the first round of the playoffs.
“I think it gets most challenging when the exercises are like 11 a.m., and then the rest of your day where you’re extremely dehydrated, you can’t really fill up with anything,” Yurtseven said in a heat exercise. Said after completing the session. prescribed time limit. “But since the games are late, 7:30, 8 usually isn’t too bad, ’cause then you’ve got a little bit of sugar, water in you immediately, more than anything.
“Because after a certain time the appetite goes down. No water, that’s the hardest part. After a certain time the hunger disappears, but the thirst never goes away.
This forms the tipoff of the Sunday afternoon special challenge at 1 p.m., which should be called YurtSeven with sunset at 7:42 p.m. in Miami.
For the 23-year-old, a member of the Turkey national team and a native of Istanbul, it is an observance that transcends NBA basketball.
“If you commit to it,” he said, “you don’t get out of it unless it’s for extreme emergency and health reasons.”
In that commitment, he does not stand alone in the NBA. Others who have spoken of their observance of Ramadan in recent years include Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jusuf Narkik, Anse Kantor, and Taco Fall.
Irving addressed his upbringing after scoring 34 points in Wednesday night’s win, which pushed his Brooklyn Nets past the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in game and in the playoffs.
“I’m not alone in this,” Irving said during his courtside postgame interview. “I have brothers and sisters all over the world who are fasting with me. We take our prayers and our meditations very sacred and when you come out here, I mean, God is inside me, God is inside you, God is inside of us all. So, I am walking with faith and that is what matters. When I get a chance to do so, in this type of field and showcase my talent which I have got strictly from God, I am humbled. ,
Following Adebayo’s return from thumb surgery, such opportunities have been limited for Yurtseven in the second half of this season.
But he is ready where he stands to go in the Heat’s opening-round series, the opportunity of the playoff minutes of his first career.
Battling a stomach ailment last week left Yurtseven with a difficult choice.
“When I was sick,” he said. “I had to take pills and make sure my body didn’t starve at the same time I was fighting a disease. They were like little exceptions where I couldn’t fast.”
With a potential playoff chance, this ongoing follow-up stands as the first.
“The college season doesn’t run through the summer, and because every year it goes back about two weeks, it was during the summer within the last seven years, and it never came to the college season where I had to play sports. Had to play,” he said of Ramzan. “It’s like the first time.
“So it’s been different. It’s been an adjustment.”
One embraced the spiritual and the professional.
So before sunrise, “long-digested carbs and protein, and that’s it.”
And during the games after sunset, “a little” [nutrition] bar. But it’s mainly Hydration and Fluids and Pedialyte. Those are big things. ,
Everyone embraced spiritually.
“It’s a challenge to your faith,” he said. “So the bigger the challenge you can take, the better.”