AFA Sports embodies black history created from the beginning of our journey with the Nigerian basketball league. When others say success can only be realized at the end of a journey, we say success is the journey.
In this black history month, we acknowledge those who have been part of this journey, we celebrate the beauty of black, pride and incredible faith, strength and struggle and most importantly, we celebrate those on the basketball scene who have contributed to the rich history that we now own.
Here is a spotlight on five Nigerians that we have chosen to celebrate at this time:
Alex Nwora – Coach, Nigerian National team D'TigersIn the course of his coaching career, Nwora has exhibited brilliance, strength and incredible faith in all his teams. His coaching prowess kicked off with a grassroot team from a community college and has been on course since 1999. He coached Cape Verde National Basketball side up to 2017 when he was made head coach of the Nigerian national men’s team. His relentless efforts have been exuded on every tournament from when he led D’Tigers to the FIBA Afro-basket tournament in 2017 to when he made his World Cup debut in China and has continued to date. He is the father of Jordan Nwora who also plays for D’Tigers.
Ike Diogu – Captain, Nigerian National team D'Tigers
He is a Nigerian-American professional who has carved an admirable niche in the world of basketball. He was the only Nigerian-American among a group of international players selected in the 2005 Draft and played over 200 NBA regular season games. He made his national team debut at the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Venezuela. He is a double Olympian who currently holds a Nigerian record for most points (134) and rebounds (88) recorded in the history of the Olympics. He is the captain of the Nigerian national team, a title he has held since 2017.
Ezinne Kalu – Professional player, Nigerian National Women’s team
She plays for the Nigerian National Women’s team – D’Tigress- and the French team – Landerneau BB. She was captain of the Nigerian team from 2016 to 2017 and co-captain in 2018. In the 2019 Women’s Afrobasket, she was named Champion and Most Valuable player where she averaged 14 points and 3 assists. She was voted Top 12 Best Player of Africa in 2020 and is the first female player to be sponsored by AFA Sports
Josh Okoye – Professional player Nigerian National Men’s team
Josh is one of the few Nigerians excelling in the NBA. Drafted in 2018 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, his career has since taken a popular turn. On January 29, 2019, he was named a member of the World Team for the 2019 Rising Stars Challenge. He first played with the Nigerian team in 2019 and also made it to the world cup.
Evelyn Akhator - Professional player, Nigerian National Women’s team
She was drafted by the Dallas Wings of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) as the 3rd overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft. Her first appearance for the Nigerian National women’s team was during the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket tournament in Mali. She’s a two-time Afro-basket winner and in the 2018 Nigerian Sports Award, she won the Best Sportswoman award and the Basketball player award