African talent spread during the 2019 NBA Draft as three players of Nigerian descent were drafted into NBA franchises as part of the 60 most talented rookies in the USA and the world at large.
The Barclays Center in New York City, where the draft took place on Friday, witnessed the inclusion of nine players of African descent drafted in the top 50.
According to Punch, power forward, Chuma Okeke who was drafted 16th overall in the first round pick by the Orlando Magic from Auburn University, Alabama is the first Nigerian on the list. The 20-year-old, 6ft 8in star, born in Atlanta, Georgia, is born to Chuka Okeke who is Nigerian.
Small forward, Chikezie Okpala, was selected 32nd in the second round overall pick by the Phoenix Suns while shooting guard, Olumiye Oni, was selected by the Golden State Warriors but immediately traded to the Utah Jazz.
Twenty-one-year-old 6ft5in Oni was drafted from Yale University while Okpala was drafted from Stamford University. The American-Nigerian, selected by the Phoenix Suns, has already been traded to the Miami Heats.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation on its official Twitter handle congratulated the players on their selection.
Other players of African descent selected include Rui Hachimura, who was the best overall of all the African players on the list. He was drafted number nine overall in the first round. Born to a Japanese mother and a Beninese Father, Rui, was selected by the Washington Wizards.
Sekou Doumbouya, (Guinea) 15 overall pick. Selected by the Detroit Pistons.
MfionduKabengele, (DR Congo) 27th overall pick, selected by the Brooklyn Nets and traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Bruno Fernando, (Angola) 34th overall pick, drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers and traded to the Atlanta Hawks.
Bol Manute Bol, (Sudan), 44th, drafted by the Miami Heats
Marial Shayok, (Sudan, Canada), 54th overall pick, drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers.
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