Bennedict Mathurin Is Saving His Best Tunnel Fits For The Playoffs: 'I'm Waiting For The Right Occasion'

Complex Canada caught up with Bennedict Mathurin at NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis to talk about tunnel fits, missing Montreal, and the Pacers playoff push.

Group of people, including children, wearing basketball-themed shirts, standing together in a sports facility
Group of people, including children, wearing basketball-themed shirts, standing together in a sports facility

In his second season, Bennedict Mathurin is taking things differently than his first.

A year ago at the All-Star Game, the Montreal native was still getting his bearings, still excited to be in the show and surrounded by all that comes with being an NBA professional.

This year, Mathurin is all business. His Indiana Pacers made it to the in-season tournament final and are in the middle of a playoff race. They also just pushed their chips in by acquiring Pascal Siakam for the run. Meanwhile, Mathurin showed how serious he is by taking MVP honours at this year’s Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis.

As always, the adidas athlete is also focused on giving back with his involvement in youth camps, whether it’s in Indiana or Montreal. Complex Canada caught up with Bennedict Mathurin at All-Star Weekend Youth Camp, directed by his sister Jennifer, to talk about season two in the NBA, what he misses about Montreal, and why he’s saving his best tunnel fits for the playoffs.

How has season 2 compared to your first season?
My second season has been totally different than my first season. The experience has been totally different. It’s been fun going through 50 games leading up to the All-Star Break, but we’ve made the adjustments and we’ve added the guys needed to make a deep run in the playoffs.

Why is it important for you to do the All-Star Weekend Youth Camp?
It means a lot to me, to have a camp and see kids playing the game they love. It means the world to me, I see a lot of myself and remember when I was hooping as a kid. It’s always rewarding to see kids enjoying themselves playing basketball.

Group of people cheering on a basketball court with an 'ALL STAR' banner in the background

You even flew a kid from Montreal for All-Star Weekend?
The kid’s name is Mikael, and I’d consider him like my little cousin. I used to play basketball with his older brother, and he comes from an incredible family. They’ve always been there for me, and I feel like they always protected me in a sense that they used to keep me away from the bad things that could happen to me. They guided me on the right path, they always made sure I was going to practice every single time, so I’m forever grateful to Mikael’s family. I had the opportunity to make it special the same way they always made me feel special.

How does it feel to be in a playoff race with the Pacers?
It feels good. We haven’t accomplished the full job yet, but I feel like we’re locked in to be ready for the second half of the season and bring the energy. We only have 26 games left, so it’s really exciting.

What do you most look forward to at the Skills Challenge?
I’m looking forward to winning, that’s the main thing. But I also think the LED lights are going to be crazy, so I’m pumped to be in the Skills Challenge. I used to dream about those moments, seeing Kobe, seeing LeBron doing all of it.

Since Indianapolis is your city, are other players hitting you up for recommendations?
For sure. Everyone wants to go to Prime 47 or St. Elmo, to try the shrimp cocktail. If you come to Indiana, you have to try the shrimp cocktail. There’s definitely a lot of great spots downtown.

What’s your personal favourite tunnel fit this season?
I’m going to be honest, I haven’t really stepped out like that yet. I feel like I’m waiting for the right occasion, which is the playoffs. I’m going to have a couple of fits ready by then, but if I had to choose one fit, it’s probably one I haven’t even posted yet. It was one in New York.

How would you describe your sense of style?
I call it different. Sometimes I’ll be more classy, sometimes I’ll be more youthful, but my style is very diverse. I feel like I put my own fits together.

I miss my Timbits, I miss my poutine, I miss my Haitian food. My weekly runs for Haitian food. I just miss Montreal.

How do you feel about Canada’s men’s basketball team qualifying for the Olympics? Would you want to rep your country?
I’m really excited about it. Having the Olympics this summer, it’s really exciting. I would love to represent my country, I’d love to play for them, but it also comes with commitment and coming out there to play.

Do you communicate with other Canadians in the NBA? Is there a group chat going?
I wouldn’t say we have a group chat going, we don’t have the Montreal boys group chat, but we keep in touch. I keep in touch with Lu (Dort), who’s one of my guys. I'm trying to keep in touch with Chris (Boucher) as well, and O-Max (Olivier-Maxence Prosper). I wouldn’t say there’s a group chat, but there’s a connection.

Person in a dark turtleneck holds a basketball, focused on the game ahead

Last year you got a custom sneaker at All-Star Weekend from adidas. What do you have planned with them at the moment?
Right now I’m focused on finishing the season the right way, having a deep run in the playoffs, and having an amazing summer training-wise, whether it’s for Team Canada or for next season.

What would a Benn Mathurin adidas sneaker look like?
I’m a pretty simple guy, so black with some red stripes. Something exclusive for sure.

What do you miss most about Montreal?
It hurts me to say it because there’s so much I miss about Montreal. I miss my Timbits, I miss my poutine, I miss my Haitian food. My weekly runs for Haitian food. I just miss Montreal. But Benn is coming back soon.

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