Arthur Elijah de Paula Embiid shares a first name with Joel’s late younger brother.
💌 Love Philly? Sign up for the free Billy Penn email newsletter to get everything you need to know about Philadelphia, every day.
Through the glutinous morass that is 2020 came a gleaming spot of brightness on Philly social media Thursday evening. Sixers star Joel Embiid, the professed troll whose skill and attitude have made him one of the city’s most beloved pro athletes, is now a dad.
Arthur Elijah de Paula Embiid was born on Sept. 17, according to de Paula’s Instagram post. The first name holds a special connection: it’s the same as JoJo’s late younger brother. When teenage Arthur Embiid was killed by a truck driver in the brothers’ native Cameroon, it hit the 76ers center hard, but eventually became an inspiration to press forward with his career.
Embiid has faced his share of criticism over that career, for everything from his propensity for injuries to his propensity for making jokes.
The Sixers’ most recent season ended with disappointment. Some haters might ask whether his girlfriend carrying his child was a distraction for Embiid in the “bubble” the NBA set up to finish the pandemic season. Embiid did said in July that he’d considered not going to Orlando to participate. While there, though, he played his heart out.
It wasn’t enough to keep Philly from getting swept out of the playoffs in the first round — but now Joel is a dad, so everything else is less important. (That’s what new parents always say, anyhow.)
Embiid certainly looked happy in the newborn photo he posted, as well as in the pregnancy portrait he put up, where he’s wearing a gorgeous Gucci coat.
Here’s a look at Philadelphia’s newest celebrity family, by the numbers.