Despite the disparity between the average basketball player and an NBA caliber player, not many players in the NBA can boast of getting to the finals of an NBA season, talk less of winning the Most Valuable Player award in said Finals. This is an achievement that has been reserved for an elite group of men like Kawhi Leonard whose excellence is far beyond their peers.
Not only has Kawhi achieved all of the above, but he has also gone ahead to win the competition itself in a feat that placed him just shy of the legendary Magic Johnson as the youngest player to win the NBA Finals MVP. Standing out already as a player, Kawhi also stands out as a modern-day celebrity in that he has a strong dislike for the media and he does not have a known social media account.
Learn more about the Toronto Raptors player by reading below.
Who Is Kawhi Leonard?
Kawhi Leonard is a player for the Toronto Raptors who was born on the 29th of June, 1991 in Los Angeles. After spending time across two high schools in Canyon Springs High School and Martin Luther King High School, he joined San Diego State University where he spent two years as a college player before he moved on the NBA playing for San Antonio Spurs.
While he was with the Spurs, where he spent six and a half seasons, he quickly rose to become one of the team’s most important players, finishing fourth on the Rookie of the Year list in his first season and making his first Finals appearance in his sophomore season as an NBA player.
His rapid growth and acclimatization to the NBA culminated in an NBA Finals win in 2014 when he beat Miami Heat and won the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award. He has been named as an All-Star Team Player three times in 2016, 2017 and 2019 and he has made several All-NBA teams including the All-NBA First Team in 2016 and 2017.
Over the course of his career, he has played over 450 games, starting in over 380 of them and averaging points scored of 16.3 per game along with 6.2 rebounds per game. His regular season performances have also led him to the Playoffs six times with him making the finals at least two times.
In 2008, he lost his father to a murderer who fatally shot him. In his big family, he is not the only one involved in professional sports. He has a cousin, Stevie Johnson who has played for the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers and an uncle, Dennis Robertson who is his chief advisor.
As an MVP winner and a Championship winner, Kawhi Leonard earns a lot more than your average NBA player and this reflects in his net worth. Kawhi Leonard’s total net worth is currently estimated at $35 million. His most recent contract with the Raptors sees him earn $20 million as a yearly salary.
Who is His girlfriend – Kishele Shipley?
When it comes to sports players, particularly professional sports, the identity of their wives and girlfriends is an industry on its own. With Kawhi Leonard, the identity of his girlfriend is Kishele Shipley, a Public Administration graduate of San Diego State University.
Considering that Kawhi Leonard himself attended the school, there is every possibility that Kawhi met Kishele while they were both in college and that college love has so far survived the exposure and glamour of the NBA.
Following her graduation in 2012, she relocated with the Raptors forward to Texas back when he played for San Antonio Spurs. The couple has so far lived together and their relationship, which has more than emotional support and companionship, produced a baby girl named Kaliyah in July 2016 making them a wholesome family.
There is very little information regarding the career path of Kishele Shipley at the moment. Like her boyfriend, she has a dislike for social media and there isn’t plenty of information available about her. As for the couple, their path seems to be leading to the altar in a not so distant future.
Height and Body Measurements
Kawhi Leonard plays the small forward position in the NBA and as such, his flexibility and physical fitness are paramount; he has struggled with the latter since 2017 when he began to suffer a series of injuries that eventually got him traded to the Toronto Raptors from San Antonio Spurs. He has a listed height of 6 feet 7 inches with a weight of 230 lb (104kg).