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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.

Announced by Embiid on Instagram and Twitter, the news was a surprise to most. He and mom Anne de Paula, a professional model from Brazil, didn’t let on they were expecting.

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.

Danya Henninger is director and editor of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the membership program. She is a former food...