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History Recorded As Eight Nigerians Make NBA Draft


History was made in Nigerian basketball on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, after 8 Nigerians made it into the National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft for 2020. Wednesday’s outcome is the first time in Nigerian basketball history that up to 8 players with at least one parent of Nigerian origin were drafted into the biggest basketball league on earth.

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The NBA Draft which took place virtually at the ESPN studios in Bristol, Connecticut, saw six Nigerians selected in the first round of picks and two other players in the second-round picks. The Nigerian-born duo of Precious Achiuwa and Udoka Azubuike made the cut which also includes Jordan Nwora, Issac Okoro, Desmond Bane, Onyeka Okongwu, Zeke Nnaji, and Daniel Oturu. This is the first time two basketball players (Achiuwa and Azubuike) born in Nigeria will make the NBA draft. While Precious Achiuwa placed 20th overall with a selection from the Miami Heat, Udoka Azubuike placed 27th overall with a selection from Utah Jazz.

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Isaac Okoro was selected 5th overall (Cleveland Cavaliers), Onyeka Okongwu placed 6th overall (Atlanta Hawks), and Zeke Nnaji made the cut as the 22nd overall (Denver Nuggets). Desmond Bane picked by the Boston Celtics as the 30th overall, alongside Daniel Oturu who placed 33rd overall (Minnesota Timberwolves), and Jordan Nworah (45th overall) selected by the Milwaukee Bucks, completed the list of Nigerians in the draft. Achiuwa did not fail to express his delight at being selected and was particular about continuing the Nigerian tradition in the NBA.

‘Just being able to be in a position like this, these players that have been before me, and they’ve done it at a really high level, and just me being in this type of situation where I may be able to keep the same tradition going. But not just me, a bunch of us in the draft class like you said, and I think we have an opportunity to keep that legacy going, especially that Nigerian representation in the NBA. And also, having my brother that came before me. Just being a guide to me every step of the way so far.’

Precious Achiuwa



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Ugo Chinedu

I am a Lion, I love to hit heights that seem impossible so I can motivate others and prove doubters wrong. For me, impossible is nothing. I'm open to learning and I love to read, travel and meet new faces.

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