Tallest African NBA Players
TBT: Africa’s contribution to the NBA is undeniable, as some of the tallest and the most successful basketball players of players of African descent. In no particular order, lets check out some of the NBA players making Africa proud!
1- Giannis Antetokounmpo
Popularly called “Greek Freak” Giannis was born on December 6, 1994, in Greece to Nigerian parents. He started playing basketball in 2007 and quickly ended up joining the youth squad and senior team of Filathlitikos.
Giannis has joined the 2013 NBA draft and was selected to sign a contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, quickly rising to the primary playmaker position in two years.
His most significant achievement was to finish the 2016-2017 season within the top 20 in all categories, which earned him the Most Improved Player award as well as three All-Star selections in 2019. He is 6 ft 11 in tall.
2- Kostas Antetokounmpo
Kostas, born in 1997, is the younger brother of Giannis. Just like his brother, his basketball career started in Filathlitikos. When the Bucks signed his brother, he also relocated to the US and attended high school in Wisconsin.
His entrance to NBA was with the 2018 NBA draft where he signed a two-way contract with the Dallas Mavericks and the Texas Legends.
Kostas’s debut was in March 2019, his team played with Portland Trail Blazers with 118-126. He is 6 ft 10 in tall.
3- Udoka Azubuike
Udoka was born in 1999 in Nigeria as the youngest of five siblings. Shortly after losing his father at the age of 10, he received a scholarship from Basketball Without Borders to go to the US.
During his high school years in Florida, his coach and the coach’s wife became legal guardians. He played in 2016 McDonald’s All-American Boys Game, Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit.
Ranked in the top 30 of the best overall players by Rivals.com and ESPN. During college, he achieved a high goal percentage that was acclaimed by many. He is expected to join the 2019 NBA Draft. He is 7 ft tall.
4- Ekpe Udoh
Udoh was born in 1987 in Oklahoma. After playing basketball for three seasons in college, he received an honorable mention of All –American Honors by the Associated Press.
Ekpe changed teams frequently during his time in NBA. In the 2010 NBA Draft, he was selected by the Golden State Warriors.
Shortly after that, he was hired by the Israeli tea Bnei Herzilya for a few months, followed by a trade to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for another player.
In addition, he played for Los Angeles Clippers for a short while before signing for Turkey’s Fenerbahce for three years. He is currently with NBA’s Utah Jazz. He is 6 ft 10 tall.
5- Pascal Siakam
Pascal was born in 1995 in Cameroon. Developing an interest in basketball at a young age, he participated in the Basketball Without Borders camp, where his enthusiasm and passion was quickly caught under the radar.
At the age of 16, he relocated to the US and attended New Mexico State University, where he played at their basketball team.
The 2016 NBA Draft saw him being elected by the Toronto Raptors. His breakthrough in the team came with the NBA championship in 2019, which earned him NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. He is 6 ft 9 in tall.
6- Bismack Biyombo
Bismack was born in 1992 in DRC as one of seven siblings. He took an interest in basketball at a young age and started attending youth tournaments.
While he was in Yemen for yet another match, he was discovered by the Portuguese Coach Mario Palma who gave him training in Spain.
Biyombo then played in Fuenlabrada-Gedate Madrid and CB Illescas for two seasons. Joining the 2011 NBA draft, he was assigned to the Charlotte Bobcats where he played for four years.
In 2015, he signed a two-year contract with the Toronto Raptors, followed by a two-year contract with Orlando Magic in 2016. Finally, in 2018, he was traded back to the Charlotte Hornets. He is 6 ft 9 in tall.
Source: Research/African News/