There is a reason why Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried has earned himself the nickname the Manimal over his first 6 seasons in the NBA. He is one of the most high effort and high motor players we have seen in the last decade both at the collegiate and professional level.

But it really isn’t Faried’s stats and accolades that make him stand out. It is his drive and willingness to contribute to his team on both sides of the court.

Faried’s career is young in the pros and he has gained attention from fans across the nation, but his journey to the NBA didn’t come easy. Faried never received any big offers that would have put him on the easy route to the NBA. His ferocious style of play and tenacity was the only reason he was able to fulfill his dream.

School: Technology High School

Position: Forward

Height: 6’7

Weight: 190 Lbs

Recruiting Ranking: 2 Stars

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The Rise:

Kenneth Faried was born in Newark, New Jersey where he played his high school basketball at Technology High School. Overlooked as an undersized 6’7 forward, he did not see many offers come across the table. As a two star recruit, he didn’t even crack the top 1000 in 247’s nationwide rankings.

Faried may have not had the measurables to get him noticed, but one thing he did have was a ferocious motor on the glass. He established himself as a premier rebounder and someone who could be a possible role player for teams that were willing to take the chance in giving him an offer. Few teams were able to recognize his skills including small schools like Iona and Marist. In the end, the school that Faried decided to commit to was small Ohio Valley Conference powerhouse, Morehead State.

At Morehead, Faried arrived an inch taller and an even hungrier athlete. After only seeing action in 30 games his freshman year, he established himself as a force to be reckoned with averaging double digit points. But it was his last three years at Morehead State where Faried took off into the national limelight.

After 2 conference championships and NCAA tournament berths, along with an upset of 4 seed Louisville in his senior year, Faried ended his Morehead State campaign as the 12th best rebounder in NCAA Basketball history and averaged a double double. His work was more than enough to establish himself as a first round NBA Draft pick.

With the 22nd overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft the Denver Nuggets selected Kenneth Faried from Morehead State. The high motor, freak athlete made it from outside of the top 1000 high school recruits all the way up to in the top 30 collegiate players in the NCAA. That’s how the Manimal said I told you so.