Players of Nigerian descent are among more than 10 African basketballers featuring in the NBA G League season which kicked off on Thursday.
The players are Salt Lake City Stars duo Udoka Azubuike and Jordan Nwora Ike Anigbogu of Erie Bayhawks and Daniel Oturu of Agua Caliente Clippers.
Eighteen teams, including 17 NBA G League teams and NBA G League Ignite, will each play 15 games from February 10 – March 6 at Disney.
The top eight teams from the 135-game schedule will advance to a single-elimination playoff, which will begin on March 8 and conclude with the NBA G Final presented by YouTube TV on March 11.
Nigerians in NBA G League:
Udoka Azubuike (Salt Lake City Stars)
Azubuike was selected 27th overall by the Utah Jazz in the 2020 NBA Draft, being one of two Nigerian players who were selected in the first round which was the first time in NBA history. Overall, nine players of Nigerian descent were selected in the draft last year.
Azubuike was born in Lagos on 17 September 1999. He attended Potter’s House Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida and subsequently joined the team of the University of Kansas in NCAA.
Jordan Nwora (Salt Lake City Stars)
Jordan Nwora is an aggressive offensive forward who scored in bunches from the perimeter for stretches of his junior year at Louisville showing the ability to space the floor at a high level. Widely regarded as a top-75 prospect in the high school class of 2017, Nwora showed well in limited minutes as a freshman at Louisville. He carved out a key role with the Nigerian national team in qualifying action before his sophomore year carrying that that momentum into a breakout season for the Cardinals.
Declaring for and later withdrawing from the 2019 NBA Draft Nwora started his junior year strong and finished the season averaging 18 points and 7.7 rebounds per game to earn All-ACC 1st Team honors narrowly missing winning Player of the Year as he helped Head Coach Chris Mack’s Cardinals to a top-15 ranking.
Ike Anigbogu (Erie Bayhawks)
Selected 47th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. Played for the Pacers’ G League team fort Wayne Mad Ants. Will play for New Orleans Pelicans’ G League team Erie Bayhawks in this G League season.
Born in San Diego, California to Nigerian parents. Played college basketball for UCLA Bruins for one season.
Daniel Oturu (Agua Caliente Clippers)
Selected 33rd overall in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and subsequently traded to LA Clippers.
He is a strong big man with good length who emerged as a double-double threat as a freshman but flashed a budding skill level away from the rim as a sophomore at Minnesota.
Widely regarded as a top-50 prospect in the high school class of 2018 following his senior year at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in Saint Paul, Oturu made an instant impact for Head Coach Richard Pitino’s Golden Gophers averaging 10.8 points and 7 rebounds per game as a freshman despite being limited by foul constant trouble.
Taking a huge leap in terms of offensive ability as a sophomore, Oturu averaged 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game to emerged as one of the most productive big men in the country across a grueling conference slate to earn All-Big Ten 2nd Team honors.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. His parents emigrated from Nigeria to the U.S. in 1990. Francis played for Nigeria’s national table tennis team.