The National Basketball Association (NBA), American men’s professional basketball league, held its yearly draft, were talented basketballers who are eligible and wish to join the league are drafted by clubs
Among the drafted stars, are 8 players of Nigerian heritage.
Power Forward Precious Achiuwa, drafted from Memphis Tigers by the Miami Heat, was born in Port-Harcourt, while Center Udoka Azubuike drafted from Kansas Jayhawks by Utah Jazz was born in Lagos.
Small Forward Isaac Okoro drafted by Cleveland Cavaliers, Power Forward Onyeka Okongwu drafted by the Atlanta Hawks and Center Daniel Oturu drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves were all born in the United States to Nigerian parents.
Power Forward Ezekiel “Zeke” Nnaji drafted by Denver Nuggets, Shooting Guard Desmond Bane drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies and Small Forward Jordan Nwora drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks all have Nigerian fathers.
The development was acknowledged by the NBA and Nigerian basketball fans alike. Taking to Twitter to express their joy.
Nigeria is well represented in this year’s draft class! 🇳🇬
Born in Nigeria:
Parents from Nigeria:
Father from Nigeria:
— NBA (@NBA) November 19, 2020
First Hakeem Olajuwon, then Giannis, Bambam and now… The @nba needs to really set up shop in Nigeria if they want the next MJ…
— Who (@BANK_S) November 19, 2020
Great to see #history in the making! Last night, eight players from/with roots in #Nigeria were selected in the #NBADraft! A fantastic news for the growth of #basketball in Nigeria and across #Africa. @NBA_Africa @theBAL
— Amadou Gallo Fall (@amadougallofall) November 19, 2020
While Nigerians slept, 8 Nigerians got drafted by @NBA
Highest ever for players with at least one of their parents from Nigeria
6 got drafted as first round picks pic.twitter.com/6k7cWE8qpn
— #NBBF (@nbbfonline) November 19, 2020
NBA stands for Nigeria Basketball Association https://t.co/WhIicaJDtA
— lil mocha (@lilmochaaa) November 19, 2020
The current crop of drafted Nigerians, are set to begin their journey in the NBA, joining other veterans with Nigerian heritage, such as current MVP and NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Giannis Antetokounmpo ( Greek rendition of Adetokunbo) of the Milwaukee Bucks, Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat, Victor Oladipo of Indiana Pacers, Andre Iguodala of the Miami Heat.