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5 NBA Heroes Who Made Africa Proud

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The American NBA league counts among the most prestigious and followed basketball leagues globally. Featuring premium players like Lebron James and Stephen Curry, the league is a delight for millions of basketball enthusiasts, including aspiring Kenyan basketballers.

Of course, Kenyan punters savour the NBA for the wealth of betting opportunities it presents from the world’s leading bookmakers. For example, after a Betway Login, punters can access top odds and enhanced promos on top NBA fixtures.

Indeed, some Africans have featured in the NBA and gone on to achieve memorable feats in the league. This article celebrates some of the finest African basketballers to grace the NBA.

Hakeem Olajuwon

The former Nigerian-American professional basketball player is rated among the best Africans to have played in the NBA. During his playtime for the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors, which lasted from 1984 to 2002, Hakeem Olajuwon recorded 26,946 points, 13,747 rebounds, and 3,830 blocks throughout his career.

Hakeem Olajuwon earned a lot of awards and achievements. Some of them include 2× NBA champion (1994, 1995), 2× NBA Finals MVP (1994, 1995), and 12× NBA All-Star (1985–1990, 1992–1997), among many others. With that many accolades, Hakeem Olajuwon was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Luol Deng

Having fled South Sudan to the United Kingdom for greener pastures, Luol Deng began life in the United Kingdom as a British citizen.

Luol Deng got drafted into the NBA in 2004 and rose to become one of the best Africans to ever play in the NBA. During his playing career, which lasted from 2004 to 2019, Luol Deng played for over four basketball teams.

Luol Deng scored a total of 13,361 career points, 5,468 rebounds, and 2,042 assists throughout his career. He also holds a list of awards, which include 2× NBA All-Star (2012, 2013), NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2012), NBA All-Rookie First Team (2005), and NBA Sportsmanship Award (2007), among others.

Didier Ilunga-Mbenga

Didier Ilunga-Mbenga is a former Belgian-Congolese professional basketball player who is regarded as one of the best African basketball players. Just like Luol Deng, he and his mother sought asylum in Belgium and got citizenship. He got drafted into NBA in 2002 and played center for over 6 basketball teams.

During his playtime, which lasted from 2001 to 2013, Didier Ilunga-Mbenga played center and had two significant career awards, which include the 2004 Belgian League champion and the 2× NBA champion (2009, 2010). Throughout his career, he made 41 assists, 351 rebounds, and a total of 414 career points.

Dikembe Mutombo

The former Congolese-American professional basketball player, Dikembe Mutombo, is widely known for his defensive skills on the basketball pitch and his humanitarian work. He got drafted into NBA in 1991 and went on to play center in 6 basketball teams.

Throughout his playtime, which lasted from 1991 to 2009, Dikembe Mutombo made 11,729 career points, 12,359 rebounds, and 3,289 blocks. His outstanding performance earned him multiple awards, including 8× NBA All-Star (1992, 1995–1998, 2000–2002), 4× NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001), 2× NBA rebounding leader (2000, 2001), and 3× NBA blocks leader (1994–1996), among many others.

Due to Dikembe Mutombo’s impact on the world of basketball, he got inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on 11 September 2015.

Manute Bol

The late professional Sudanese-American basketball player, Manute Bol, made a name for himself as the tallest basketball player to be drafted into the NBA during his era. He was also known for his amazing defensive skills and his humanitarian work in Sudan.

Manute Bol got drafted into the NBA in 1985 and played center for over 6 basketball teams. He had playtime from 1988 – 1997. During his career, he made 1,599 career points, 2,647 rebounds, and 2,086 blocks. Manute Bol retired with more block points and was recognized as the only NBA player with higher blocked shots than scored points.

During his playtime, Manute Bol earned 2 significant awards to his name. They include the 2× NBA blocks leader (1986, 1989) and the NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1986).


Of course, Africans are also mixed up in the NBA game, and guess what? They are making great progress and bagging awards too. Though this is an exclusive list, don’t restrict yourself to digging out other great Africans to have ever played in the NBA.

Next >> How To Bet On The NBA Games

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KALU MENGOhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Kalu Mengo is a Senior Reporter With Business Today. Email: [email protected]
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