NBA teams pick record-breaking 8 players of Nigerian descent

2020-11-21 20:29:30
NBA teams pick record-breaking 8 players of Nigerian descent

A record eight players from Nigeria and Nigerian descent were selected on Wednesday by America’s National Basketball Association (NBA) for the 2020-21 season.

NBA teams choose from the world's best young talent during their annual drafts.

The draft was originally scheduled for June 25 but had been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic and was held via video this year.

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 was fifth overall pick and has been chosen by Cleveland Cavaliers. The 19-year-old, who is 6ft 6, was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Nigerian parents.

"It's also just a blessing. My mom always tells me to keep that Nigerian pride,” Okoro said. “Even though I wasn't born in Nigeria, I still got Nigerian blood. So it's just having that on my shoulders."

Onyeka Okongwu, who was born in Los Angeles, California, to Nigerian parents, was the sixth overall pick selected by the Atlanta Hawks.

"I want to win a championship. That should be everyone's goal, to win a championship that everyone wants to win," Okongwu insisted.

Overall, there are currently 19 players in the NBA who are Nigerian or Nigerian-American, including reigning MVP and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

As of 2018, there were more than 375,000 Nigerian immigrants living in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center.

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