NBA power forward/center who was drafted first overall in 2012 by the New Orleans Hornets, who were renamed the Pelicans in 2013. He was selected to his first NBA All-Star game in 2014 and led the NBA in blocked shots in both 2014 and 2015. He spent one year at the University of Kentucky, earning the 2012 National Player of the Year award while leading his team to a 38-2 record and an NCAA Championship.
He began his high school career at Perspectives Charter School as a guard, standing at 6'0" his freshman year. A growth spurt over the next three years enabled him to become a unique forward, standing around 6'8" with guard-like quickness. He'd reached about 6'10" by the time he began his career at Kentucky.
He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2013 and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting to Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard. He set a record by scoring 52 points at the 2017 NBA All-Star Game and he was named the game's MVP.
He was raised with two sisters, Antoinette and Lesha.
He was teammates with Kobe Bryant on the Olympic gold-medal winning U.S. basketball team in 2012.