Big Gains for Africans at the NBA Drafts

A total of eight players with Nigerian heritage were picked during Wednesday night’s NBA draft for the 2020-21 season. The annual draft sees NBA teams choose from the world’s best young talent. Precious Achiuwa is the third Nigerian-born player to be drafted in the first round since 2000, while soon after Udoka Azubuike was the 4th. That was the first time that two players born in Nigeria have been picked in the first round of the same draft. Isaac Okoro, 19, was fifth overall pick and has been chosen by Cleveland Cavaliers. Onyeka Okongwu, also 19 and born to Nigerian parents, was the sixth overall pick selected by Atlanta Hawks. Denver Nuggets snapped up 19-year-old Zeke Nnaji as the 22nd overall pick. Desmond Bane, 22, started playing baseball before he switched to basketball and was the 30th overall pick, drafted by the Boston Celtics, with reports that he will be traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Jordan Nwora will be the most popular pick on the list to Nigerians as the 22-year-old is a member of the country’s senior men’s basketball team, otherwise known as D’Tigers.

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