Ime Udoka soon to become the first Nigerian head coach in NBA
Ime Udoka soon to become the first Nigerian head coach in NBA for the next season. Udoka was a former key player with Nigeria’s D’Tigers basketball team.
The popularity of Nigerians in the NBA continues to grow at every season with the announcement that Ime Udoka to become the coach of the Boston Celtics in the next NBA season.
From athletes like, Hakeem, the dream Olajuwon, to Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo, it’s no news that Nigerian-born players continue to raise the bar.
The NBA is known to have always featured Nigerian players but one area that seemed a no-go area was coaching but that jinx is about to be broken with the impending emergence of Udoka as the new Head Coach for the Celtics.
Multiple reports, which include the New York Times and ESPN all indicate Udoka is on track to land his first head coaching job with the Boston Celtics.
Udoka was a former key player with Nigeria’s D’Tigers, but now, he is about to step into his first position as the 18th head coach of Celtics after nine years of being an assistant.
Although he was born and raised in the United States, Udoka’s late father was born in Nigeria, which makes Udoka a Nigerian citizen.
In the past, he played for the Nigerian men’s basketball team at the 2006 FIBA World Championships. Mfon who is Ime’s sister not only played for the Nigeria’s women team, D’Tigress, but also led the team for a long while and was at a time a member of the coaching crew.
While we look forward to an official announcement from Boston Celtics, Udoka, who is Nigerian-American, will become the sixth Black coach in the history of the franchise.
The other coaches were Doc Rivers (2004-13), M.L. Carr (1995-97), K.C. Jones (1983-88), Tom Sanders (1978) and Bill Russell (1966-69).
In the past, the NBA had been criticised for predominantly hiring white coaches, even though more than 70 per cent of the players on team rosters are black.
Once the deal has officially been signed and announced, Udoka will become one of nine non-white head coaches in the NBA.