May 24, 2022

Former basketballer Ime Udoka close to signing Celtics deal to become the first Nigerian Head Coach in NBA history – Pulse Nigeria

  • November 27, 2021
  • 3 min read
Former basketballer Ime Udoka close to signing Celtics deal to become the first Nigerian Head Coach in NBA history – Pulse Nigeria

Udoka didn’t grow up in Nigeria neither did he visit much, but he grew up eating Fufu and Egusi soup.
Born in America to a Nigerian father and an American mother, Udoka had some stints in the NBA with La Lakers, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Spurs and Sacramento Kings.
In between these stints in the NBA, he played in the lower leagues in American, in Argentina and in Spain.
As a non-elite performer, he never had the luxury of choosing between the United States and Nigeria for his international career and played for Nigeria’s D’Tigers.
Playing for Nigeria afforded him the opportunity of visiting Nigeria for the first time.
“It felt like home because I travelled to Nigeria for the first time when I was 26,” he told Kedu Africa TV in an old interview.
“Speaking to my father and to my families back there in Nigeria was one thing and going there to experience it was totally different, you just see where your roots are from, the natural feel and I love going everytime and I definitely cherish the time we spent there.”
His favourite Nigerian food is Fufu and Egusi Soup. It was during his trip to Nigeria that he had Jollof rice and Pepper Soup.
He represented Nigeria at two African Championships, one in Algeria, 2005 and Madagascar, 2011.
He also played at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.
Since he retired from playing, Udoka has worked as a coach for a slew of NBA sides and the American national team.
He worked under the great Gregg Popovich at Spurs and was recently an assistant coach at Brooklyn Nets.
But now, after nine years as an assistant, he has, according to several credible reports, recruited to join the Boston Celtics as the Head Coach.
This appointment will make him the first Nigerian Head Coach in NBA history.
On a personal note, Udoka is engaged to American actress Nia Long and has a son with the black Hollywood sweetheart.
His sister Mfon Udoka was also a basketball player and won two AfroBasket titles with the D’Tigress of Nigeria. She captained the side and was once an assistant coach in the team.
She currently runs some skill and drills clinic in Nigeria for young basketball talents.
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