News Brief

These 6 African Players Were Drafted Into the NBA Last Night

Six African basketball players—five from Nigeria and one from Rwanda—were drafted into the NBA last night.

DIASPORA—The 2017 NBA draft took place last night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.


Standout players from college basketball teams and international divisions—60 in total—were given the opportunity to join the pros in hopes of becoming future NBA stars.

A number of African athletes were present for the affair and a total of six players—five from Nigeria and one from Rwanda—will be added to team rosters this upcoming season.

See all of the African players picked during this year's NBA draft below. Congrats to them all!

Frank Ntilikina

The point guard, born in Strasbourg, France to Rwandan parents, was drafted by the Knicks and was the 2017 eighth overall pick.

Edrice "Bam" Adebayo 

The 19-year-old, Nigerian-American power forward was the 14th overall draft pick. He joins the Miami Heat after playing just one season of college basketball at the University of Kentucky.

Ogugua "OG" Anunoby

Also 19, the British-born, Nigerian forward was picked 23rd overall by the Toronto Raptors. Before being drafted, Anunoby played college basketball for the Indiana Hoosiers.

Wesley Iwundu 

The Nigerian-American small forward from Kansas State was the 33rd overall pick, and will join the Orlando Magic.

Semi Ojeleye 

Ojeleye hails from Southern Methodist University and was the 37th overall pick last night. The Nigerian-American power forward was one of three of the Boston Celtic's second round picks.

Ike Anigbogu

The Indiana Pacers drafted the Nigerian-American University of California, Los Angeles  freshman in the second round. He was the 47th overall pick.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.