The National Basketball Association (NBA) is headlined by stars, including the likes of Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, James Harden, who have dazzled fans with their brilliant performances, showmanship, and flashy style. However, there is a second generation of uprising stars who are quietly but steadily making their impact in the league. One of those who fall into this category is Milwaukee Buck’s shooting guard, Khris Middleton.
Middleton joined the NBA, specifically the Detroit Pistons, in 2012 and had an abysmal debut season. He was subsequently traded to the Milwaukee Bucks after just one year. However, since arriving in Milwaukee, Middleton has turned his fortunes around and has received All-Star honors. He has also established himself as a cornerstone of the Bucks charge for an NBA title.
Growing Up in the City of Charleston
For years, sports have always been a means of escape for minority races in the United States, particularly black people. So, when James and Nichelle Middleton saw their son, Khris, who was born on the 12th of August 1991, take to basketball, there was the hope of something great coming out of it.
Khris Middleton was born as the second child in the family, with an older sibling named Brittney. He was raised in Charleston, South Carolina, and attended Porter-Gaud School where he played basketball for four years.
The young Khris had two particularly outstanding seasons at Porter-Gaud. The first was his junior year when he averaged 21 points and 8.6 rebounds and was named the South Carolina Player of the Year. The second was his senior season when he led his school to the state championship title. He averaged 22.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and received the State Player of the Year honors again.
His Three-Year Stint at Texas A&M
Middleton’s high school exploits led to a high valuation by scouts. It also led to interest from several major basketball programs in the country and he decided to join Texas A&M, having been charmed by the school’s ambiance, in May 2008. Khris Middleton spent three years at Texas during which he played a total of 87 games.
He started 72 of them and averaged 11.3 points per game. While the shooting guard couldn’t manage to help his team to major titles, he still achieved several personal honors. They include being chosen as part of the All-Eight District Second Team and 10-Man All-District VII Team.
Middleton’s third year in Texas was seriously hampered by a knee injury and upon recovery; he decided not to take any more chances. He thanked the Texas A&M community for their support, throughout his three years with them, and declared for the 2012 NBA draft.
Making His Mark in the NBA
Following the end of the 2011-2012 college season, Khris Middleton declared for the NBA Draft thus signaling his intention to go pro. He got selected by the Detroit Pistons during the second round and was the 39th overall pick.
Middleton’s Pistons’ career didn’t go as envisaged. The player could only manage 6.1 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists and as such, the franchise did not hesitate to offload him after one season. They sent him off in a trade involving three other players and the shooting guard found himself at the Milwaukee Bucks.
Since then, Middleton has worked on improving various aspects of his game and the result has been there for all to see. He has returned increasing stats with each preceding season and this has culminated in two NBA All-Star selections. The first was in 2019 after he averaged 18.3 points, 4.3 assists, and 6.0 rebounds per game in the 2018 season.
His second All-Star selection came in 2020 after he posted 21.1 points, 4.1 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game in the 2019 season. Middleton’s performances have also propelled his team to the playoffs on four occasions (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019) and many are tipping them to go all the way in the nearest future.
Since Khris Middleton joined the NBA, he has shown consistent improvement in his stats. For his debut season of 2012, the player averaged 6.1 points, 1.0 assists, and 1.9 rebounds. In his second year of 2013, he progressed to 12.1 points, 2.1 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game. For years 2014 and 2015, Middleton averaged 13. 4 points, 2.3 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 18.2 points, 4.2 assists, and 3.8 rebounds respectively.
The 2016 season saw a slight dip in form for the shooting guard as he could only manage 14.7 points, 3.4 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game. He, however, bounced back with a bang in 2017, by posting 20.1 points, 4.0 assists, and 5.2 rebounds, and has never looked back since then. Overall, the South Carolina native boasts of career averages of 16.3 points, 3.3 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game.
His Lucky Run with Injuries
Injuries are a normal occurrence in the world of sports and it is rare for a pro athlete to go through his entire career without suffering one. They can therefore only hope that they do not sustain a career-ending one. Khris Middleton has suffered his share of minor injuries since college. He also suffered a particularly horrific one during preseason workouts in September 2016.
According to the reports, the shooting guard was engaging in an informal workout when he slipped on a wet spot on the court. He tore his left hamstring completely off his bone and had to undergo surgery as a result. Following the surgery, Middleton spent a total of six months on the sidelines during which he missed about 50 regular-season games. He pursued his recovery systematically and subsequently returned on the 8th of February 2017 in a game against the Miami Heat. He played for about 15 minutes and scored five points.
What We Know About His Family/Personal Life
Khris Middleton’s rising profile in the NBA has made him the cynosure of all eyes as well as the crush of many ladies. However, the shooting guard is already taken. Even though he is yet to get married, Middleton is in a committed relationship with a lady simply identified as Samantha. Samantha is said to be a teacher as well as a youth mentor and advocate. It is therefore not hard to spot why Middleton is crazy about her. There are no details as to how long the couple has been together but their love has been waxing strong and in April 2019, they welcomed a daughter named Audrielle.
The birth was a tense occasion for the couple as the baby was two months premature. She, therefore, had to spend several weeks at the neonatal intensive care unit, to get stronger, before she was allowed home. During this period, Middleton’s team was playing the Eastern Conference semi-finals and he had to divide his attention between his new child and his team’s pursuits.
The player ensured that he was available for either side and he emerged victorious on both fronts. Audrielle is now growing in leaps and bounds and her dad has revealed that being responsible for a child’s welfare is quite a big deal and as such, he would always put his family’s interest first in whatever he does with his career.
Khris Middleton’s Earnings Since He Joined the NBA
Middleton’s steady improvement in form has endeared him to millions of Bucks fans and has earned him a glowing reputation in the city. It has also led to maximum financial rewards in the form of improved contracts. The shooting guard first earned $700,000 per annum following the three-year rookie contract, worth $2.1 million, which he signed with the Detroit Pistons in 2012.
Upon being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013, Middleton dazzled his new bosses with his impressive performances and was soon gifted a five-year contract worth $70 million in 2015. Under the terms of the deal, he received salaries ranging from $13 million to $15.2 million for the next four years.
Khris Middleton is now on a five-year contract extension worth a whopping $177 million. The deal, which he signed in 2019, saw him earn a mouth-watering $30 million in its first year alone. He will then make increased amounts as the days go by. As it stands now, it means that Middleton has earned not less than $89 million since joining the NBA in 2012.
His Charitable Endeavors And How He Gives Back To Society
Forbes once hailed Khris Middleton as the ultimate supporter of his community and the reason is not farfetched. The shooting guard has made a habit of always lending a helping hand whenever his community is in dire straits. He showed that admirable trait once more in the wake of the 2020 Corona Virus pandemic. Through his Middleton Family Foundation, the Bucks star donated $25,000 to six local restaurants in the Milwaukee area. The donation was to enable the restaurants to provide meals to hundreds of needy families whilst ensuring that they do not go out of business.
Khris pandemic efforts did not stop at this juncture. He donated $25,000 to purchase hygiene kits and craft items for students in public schools. He also joined fellow Bucks’ star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum. This donation was to enable the Bucks to pay their non-playing staff that had to stop work as a result of the pandemic.
Asides the coronavirus pandemic, Middleton also organizes an annual 12 days of Christmas Drive through which he assists less privileged members of the society, both in Milwaukee and in South Carolina. The impact of the program led to his being awarded the NBA Cares Community Award in December 2019.