2020 NBA Draft: The Eight Players With Nigerian Heritage Who Were Picked

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Isaac Okoro, Onyeka Okongwu, Precious Achiuwa

The 2020 NBA Draft was held at ESPN’s facilities in Bristol, Connecticut, via videoconferencing on November 18, 2020.

The draft offers NBA teams a list of talented young players to select from.

In this year’s NBA draft, eight players with Nigerian heritage were selected by some of the NBA’s elite teams.

Amongst them were Precious Achiuwa and Udoka Azubuike who became the latest players born in Nigeria to be drafted since 2000.

That was the first time that two players born in Nigeria have been picked in the first round of the same draft.

Here are the eight players with Nigerian heritage who were picked in the 2020 NBA Draft:

Isaac Okoro

Fifth overall pick selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Age: 19
Height: 6 ft 6 in
Position: Small forward

Isaac Okoro (Getty Images)

Isaac Okoro was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Nigerian parents.

He played basketball for McEachern High School in Georgia for four years, helping his team win the state championship and achieve national success in his senior season. After his freshman college season at Auburn, he was named to the second-team All-SEC.


Onyeka Okongwu

Sixth overall pick selected by the Atlanta Hawks.

Age: 19
Height: 6 ft 9 in
Position: Power forward

Onyeka Okongwu (Photo Credit: Kyusung Gong/Associated Press)

Onyeka Okongwu was born to Nigerian parents.

Okongwu was a four-year starter at Chino Hills High School in California, playing alongside Pelicans guard Lonzo and 2020 NBA Draft third pick, LaMelo Ball. As a freshman, he helped his team win the state championship and achieve national success, while being named MaxPreps co-National Freshman of the Year. In his junior and senior seasons, Okongwu led Chino Hills to two more state titles, earning back-to-back California Mr Basketball honours. In his only college season, Okongwu played for USC and was named to the first-team All-Pac-12.


Precious Achiuwa

20th overall pick selected by the Miami Heat.

Age: 21
Height: 6 ft 9.5 in
Position: Power forward

Precious Achiuwa (Photo Credit: Jessica Hill/Associated Press)

Precious Achiuwa was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, where grew up playing football. He switched his attention to basketball when he moved to the U.S with his parents as a teenager. He played college basketball for the Memphis Tigers.


Zeke Nnaji

22th overall pick selected by the Denver Nuggets.

Age: 19
Height: 6 ft 11 in
Position: Power forward

Zeke Nnaji (Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/Associated Press)

Zeke Nnaji was born to a Nigerian father and American mother. Nnaji played baseball and soccer before starting basketball due to his height. He played college basketball for the Arizona Wildcats.


Udoka Azubuike

27th overall pick selected by the Utah Jazz.

Age: 21
Height: 7 ft
Position: Centre

Udoka Azubuike (image via AP)

Udoka Azubuike was born in Nigeria. He caught the attention of recruiters with Basketball Without Borders and was offered a scholarship to play basketball in the United States despite not playing the game until he was 13. He played college basketball for the Kansas Jayhawks.


Desmond Bane

30th overall pick selected by the Boston Celtics, and reportedly traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Age: 22
Height: 6 ft 6
Position: Guard

Desmond Bane (Photo Credit: TONY GUTIERREZ/AP)

Desmond Bane was born to a Nigerian father and an American mother. He played college basketball for the TCU Horned Frogs. He became the first TCU player to be picked in the first round since 1995.


Daniel Oturu

33rd overall pick selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and reportedly traded to the New York Knicks before ending up at LA Clippers.

Age: 21
Height: 6 ft 10
Position: Centre

Daniel Oturu (Getty Images)

Daniel Oturu was born to Nigerian parents. He played basketball for Cretin-Derham Hall High School in Saint Paul, Minnesota for four years. He played college basketball for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.


Jordan Nwora

45th overall pick selected by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Age: 22
Height: 6 ft 7
Position: Small forward

Jordan Nwora (Getty Images)

Jordan Nwora was born to a Nigerian father and an American mother in Buffalo, New York. His father Alexander Nwora, who was once a head coach of the Nigerian national basketball team, helped Jordan in developing his basketball abilities. He played college basketball for the Louisville Cardinals.

Jordan scored 36 points against Mali during the 2019 FIBA Worldcup qualifiers, to become the highest-scoring player in a single game in Nigeria’s, breaking Ike Diogu’s record of 31 points.

See Also: Here’s The Full List Of The 2020 NBA Draft Picks

source: kuulpeeps.com

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