Enes Kanter will observe Ramadan starting Monday, the center told the New York Times recently.
During Ramadan, Kanter, whose Trail Blazers are taking on the Nuggets in a second-round series, will eat breakfast at 4 a.m. before fasting from sunrise until sunset, he told the Times. During the fast, Kanter will not eat, drink or take medicine for his separated shoulder.
Kanter has fasted during the holiday while playing basketball for at least 10 years, he said, but this is the first time it has overlapped with the postseason for him. Ramadan moves back 11 days each year because its date is determined by a lunar calendar.
“I actually work harder during Ramadan because my body’s used to it,” Kanter said.
The Trail Blazers big man has been a vital player in the middle for Portland during this year’s NBA playoffs. He is averaging 14.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He has helped the team overcome the absence of Jusuf Nurkic, who suffered a season-ending leg injury in late March.
Kanter signed with Portland after he was waived by the Knicks following the trade deadline. He has also played for the Jazz and Thunder during his eight-year career.
The Trail Blazers will face the Nuggets in Denver in Game 5 on Tuesday. The teams will enter that matchup with the series tied at 2-2.