The 23-year-old Luanda-born Fernando first made it to the NBA in 2019 when he was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks, and he has been on the books of the Boston Celtics since a trade made back in August of this year.
Standing 6ft9in (2.06m), the agile power forward/centre is the first ever Angolan player in the NBA and has struck up a reputation as a lively presence who – even if he is not a regular starter – brings huge energy and enthusiasm to his team.
“If you have guys like Bruno who constantly have energy and pop and they are uplifting and loud in a good way. There’s life,” Hawks assistant coach MattHill said. “It just gives your group some juice.”
Fernando himself said, “Sometimes I just be talking crazy. I just be yelling stuff. Sometimes that’s all the guys need. Sometimes your teammates got to hear you, instead of me saying the right things, sometimes you just yell whatever you got to say. As long as they can hear your voice they know you’re good for them.”
The former Maryland Terrapins (college team) player is hoping to continue developing his game in Boston: “As a player, you always want to get better in every part of your game. I’m looking forward to getting better in every aspect of my game but working on certain things for me that I know are more useful for me as a player on a team and brings value to the team. I’m obviously trying to emphasise those things as much as I can but really just trying to improve every area that I can.”
Fernando is also aiming to emulate one of his basketball idols, Kevin Garnett, who spent six years with the Celtic and helped them win their last NBA Championship back in 2008.
“I was always drawn to Kevin Garnett because of his approach to the game,” explained Fernando. “He played every game like it was his last. He always approached the game like, ‘I get to do this. I don’t have to do this.’ That’s one thing that always stuck out to me, his energy, his passion, his loyalty to the game, that’s why he’s had a successful career. Why not follow that?”
Fernando will hope to feature strongly for the Boston Celtics when they host the Phoenix Suns in an NBA Regular Season clash at the TD Garden on the evening of Friday 31 December, a game you can catch LIVE on ESPN.
See Bruno Fernando in the following NBA game live on ESPN:
All times CAT
Friday 31 December
22:00: Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns – LIVE on ESPN