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