By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “Thank you everyone for asking me questions,” Joel Embiid said to various members of the Philadelphia media before hanging up the phone on Monday afternoon. “Bye and have a good day.”

It was a short—approximately 20 minutes—conference call with Embiid and the members of the Philadelphia media. It was the first interaction between the two parties, but the 20-year-old, 7’1″ center from Yaounde, Cameroon made a positive impression in an astute phone conversation.

Embiid’s kindness, intelligence, confidence, and joyful personality was immediately evident.

Embiid explained he planned on wearing jersey No. 55, but granted Pierre Jackson his wish to wear that number in honor of his grandmother.

“I’ll pick a different number,” Embiid simply said.

When asked about playing alongside 6’11” Nerlens Noel, Embiid—who has only been playing organized basketball for three years—displayed his high hoops IQ.

“I feel like Nerlens and I, we are going to be really good,” Embiid said. “Going forward, I see myself as a forward. I think my shot is getting a lot better. I’m working on my handle and passing skills. I feel like I can become a forward.”

Last week on the Dan Patrick Show Embiid mentioned DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard as centers he was looking forward to competing against. Although he could miss the entire 2014-15 season after having navicular surgery on his right foot, Embiid exudes confidence.

“I love the fact that they took a chance on me,” Embiid said of the Sixers. “I love the fact that they believe in me. I won’t disappoint them.”

Embiid has never been to Philly before, but he’s obviously familiar with our world famous cheesesteak.

“I’ve never been to Philly,” said Embiid. “My agent told me I’m going to like it. I like food. A Philly cheese steak is the first thing I’m getting. I hear they’ve got great restaurants downtown.”


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