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Melvin Ejim selected the top Nigerian playing abroad in last week's games - Feb 24, 2017


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EUROBASKET CENTER
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Here is the weekly review of the top performing Nigerian players, who play currently abroad.


Melvin Ejim
Melvin Ejim
   #1. This week's number one is former international forward Melvin Ejim (200-91, college: Iowa St., currently plays in Basketball Champions League). Ejim led his Italian team Umana Venezia to a victory over the fifth-ranked Ventspils (7-7) 70-61 in the Basketball Champions League last Wednesday. He was MVP of the game. Ejim scored 18 points and grabbed 5 rebounds; quite an impressive performance considering it's only his third season in pro basketball. Umana Reyer Venezia (9-5) is placed third in group B. It's Ejim's first year with the team. Ejim has relatively good stats this season: 11.3ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 52.7%, 3FGP: 47.1%(16-34) and FT: 79.5%. He has a dual citizenship: Canadian and Nigerian. Ejim played for the Nigerian senior national team five years ago.

Ekpe Udoh
Ekpe Udoh
   #2. Second place goes to an international power forward Ekpe Udoh (208-87, college: Baylor, currently plays in Euroleague). Udoh contributed to a 3-point Fenerbahce's victory against the closely-ranked Olympiacos (16-7) 67-64 in the Euroleague in Thursday night's game. He scored 6 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and made 5 blocks. Fenerbahce Istanbul (15-8) is placed fourth in group A. This season Udoh has relatively solid stats: 12.2ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.7apg, 2.2bpg, 2FGP: 58.5%(96-164) and FT: 64.6%. He is in the roster of the Nigerian senior national team.

Trevor Mbakwe
Trevor Mbakwe
   #3. The Nigerian player who performed third best last week abroad was an international power forward Trevor Mbakwe (207-89, agency: Pensack Sports, college: Minnesota, currently plays in VTB United League). He contributed to Zenit's victory against the league leader CSKA (15-2) 90-77 in the VTB United League on Thursday night. Mbakwe scored 10 points and grabbed 8 rebounds (was perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line). It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. Zenit Saint Petersburg (14-3) is placed second in the VTB United League. It was his team's eighth consecutive victory in a row. It's Mbakwe's first season with the team. This year he averages: 4.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 2FGP: 62.1%(18-29) and FT: 62.5%. Mbakwe is another player who holds two passports: Nigerian and American. Despite he played previously for the USA university national team, Mbakwe is currently a member of the Nigerian senior national team.

Michael Umeh
Michael Umeh
   #4. An experienced point guard Michael Umeh (188-84, college: UNLV, currently plays in Italy) was the main contributor in a Virtus Bologna's victory against the 14th-ranked Chieti (8-14) 69-64 in the Italian Serie A2 (second division) in Wednesday night's game. He was the best player in that game. Umeh recorded 23 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in 41 minutes. Virtus Segafredo Bologna (16-6) is placed first in East group. Umeh has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages: 17.4ppg, 3.0rpg and 2.2apg in 22 games he played so far. Umeh has both American and Nigerian nationalities. He is also Nigerian national team player.

Solomon Alabi
Solomon Alabi
   #5. Former international center Solomon Alabi (216-88, college: Florida St., currently plays in Japan) was the major contributor in a 2-point Toyotsu FE's victory against the fifth-ranked Cyberdyne IR (15-24) 95-93 in the Japanese B League D2 on Saturday night. Alabi had a double-double by scoring 19 points and getting 12 rebounds. He also added 3 blocks in 32 minutes. Toyotsu Fighting Eagles Nagoya (28-10) is placed first in Central group. There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical. Alabi has very impressive stats this year: 16.5ppg, 12.5rpg, 1.2apg and 1.4bpg in 36 games. He used to play for the Nigerian national team four years ago.

Gani Lawal
Gani Lawal
   #6. Power forward Gani Lawal (205-88, college: Georgia Tech, currently plays in Basketball Champions League). Lawal could not help Banco di Srd (7-7) to beat CEZ Nymburk (10-4). He scored 9 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. But the fifth-placed Banco di Srd (7-7) was crushed 84-63 on the road by the higher-ranked CEZ Nymburk (#3) in the group E of Basketball Champions League. Lawal's overall stats this season are: 8.9ppg and 3.4rpg. He also holds two passports: Nigerian and American. Lawal is a former international player as he played for the Nigerian senior team four years ago.

Abdullahi Kuso
Abdullahi Kuso
   #7. Former international forward Abdullahi Kuso (206-84, college: Tallahassee CC, currently plays in Japan) contributed to Gunma's victory against the second-ranked Dragonflies (31-7) 86-82 in the Japanese B League D2 last Saturday. He scored 18 points, had 7 rebounds, passed 3 assists and added 3 blocks in 24 minutes. It was the game of the round between two top 3 ranked teams in group East. Gunma Crane Thunders (25-14) are placed first. There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial. Kuso has reliable stats this year: 13.7ppg, 8.9rpg, 1.2apg and 1.8bpg in 38 games. He used to play for the Nigerian national team ten years ago.

Jeleel Akindele
Jeleel Akindele
   #8. Center Jeleel Akindele (216-83, agency: BeoBasket, college: Chicago St., currently plays in Mexico) contributed to a Fuerza Regia's victory against the eighth-ranked Santos (14-22) 90-80 in the Mexican LNBP (second division) on Saturday night. Akindele scored 10 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Fuerza Regia Monterrey (32-4) is placed first in the LNBP. Akindele averaged so far 13.9ppg, 8.4rpg and 2.3apg. He used to play for the Nigerian national team back in 2009.

Ikechukwu Diogu
Ikechukwu Diogu
   #9. International power forward Ikechukwu Diogu (204-83, college: Arizona St., currently plays in China) was not able to help Jiangsu TX (8-30) in their last game. Despite Diogu's very good performance Jiangsu TX was badly defeated 128-112 in Shenzhen by the much higher-ranked (#6) Leopards. He had a double-double by scoring 21 points and getting 17 rebounds in 32 minutes. It was Jiangsu TX's sixth consecutive loss in a row. The Regular Season already ended. Diogu has very impressive stats this year: 25.0ppg, 11.1rpg and 1.1apg in 26 games. He holds both American and Nigerian passports. Diogu is also in the roster of the Nigerian national team.

Suleiman Braimoh
Suleiman Braimoh
   #10. Power forward Suleiman Braimoh (203-89, college: Rice, currently plays in FIBA Europe Cup) was not able to secure a victory for Enisey in their last game. Despite his good performance Enisey (#3) lost 96-104 in Buyukcekmece to the leading Demir IBB in the group P of FIBA Europe Cup. Braimoh scored 14 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 20 minutes. Braimoh's stats this year are: 11.1ppg, 4.0rpg and 1.4apg in 14 games. He holds both American and Nigerian passports. Braimoh is an international player who is currently on the senior Nigerian National Team roster.

   #11. International forward Andy Ogide (204-87, agency: HMS, college: Colorado St., currently plays in Japan) helped Bambitious Nara win their game against the sixth-ranked Kagoshima crushing them 91-66 in the Japanese B League D2 on Saturday night. He scored 14 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in a mere 16 minutes. Ogide averaged so far 12.9ppg and 6.6rpg in 37 games. He plays currently for the Nigerian national team.

   #12. Former international swingman Stan Okoye (198-91, college: VMI, currently plays in Italy) couldn't help Udine APU in their game against Virtus Bologna in the Italian Serie A2 (second division). Despite his very good performance in Sunday night's game Okoye was the top scorer with 13 points. He also added 7 rebounds. This season Okoye has very high stats. He averages: 16.0ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.3apg and 1.9spg. Okoye holds both American and Nigerian passports. He used to play for the Nigerian national team back in 2015.

   #13. Former U16 international point guard Peter Odia (188-94, currently plays in NAIA) managed to help Grand View University to win against the Mount Mercy University 91-76 in the NAIA in Wednesday night's game. Odia scored only one point, grabbed 4 rebounds and made 2 blocks. Odia's overall stats this season are: 0.5ppg, 1.3rpg and 1.1apg. He used to play for the Nigerian U16 national team seven years ago.

   #14. International small forward Jamal Olasewere (201-91, college: LIU Brooklyn, currently plays in Israel) helped Hapoel Ramat Gan Givataim win their game against the 12th-ranked Hap.Haifa crushing them 93-73 in the Israeli National League (second division) last Tuesday. Olasewere was the top player that evening. He scored 24 points, grabbed 5 boards, handed out 3 passes and blocked 2 shots. This season Olasewere has very high stats. He averages: 17.1ppg, 8.2rpg, 2.0apg and 2.0spg. Olasewere holds both American and Nigerian passports. He plays currently for the Nigerian national team.


The list of other players, who all have Nigerian passport but never been selected to any of Nigerian national teams:

   #1. Experienced Ndudi Ebi (206-F-84, currently plays in Lebanon) led Byblos to a victory over the league outsider Mayrouba (3-10) 96-81 in the Lebanese Pepsi LBL in Thursday night's game. He was MVP of the game. Ebi had a double-double by scoring 42 points and getting 16 rebounds. He also added and 3 steals in 40 minutes. Byblos Sporting Club (10-2) is placed second in the Pepsi LBL. It was his team's sixth consecutive victory in a row. It's Ebi's first season with the team. Ebi has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages: 22.3ppg, 13.0rpg, 1.4apg, 2.1bpg and 1.6spg in 12 games he played so far.

   #2. Chinemelu Elonu (206-F/C-87, college: Texas A&M, currently plays in Basketball Champions League) was the main contributor in an AEK Athens' victory against the fourth-ranked Juventus (8-6) crushing them 75-54 in the Basketball Champions League on Tuesday night. He was the best player in that game. Elonu scored 14 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and made 4 blocks in 20 minutes. AEK Athens (9-5) is placed second in group E. It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row. It's Elonu's first season with the team. This year he averages: 5.7ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.5bpg in six games.

   #3. Olatunbo Ayeni (196-F-87, college: St.Francis, NY, currently plays in Qatar) was the major contributor in an Al Wakrah's victory against the closely-ranked Qatar Sports Club (5-12) crushing them 110-82 in the Qatari D1 last Sunday. He had a double-double by scoring 32 points and getting 12 rebounds. Ayeni also added 4 assists and 4 steals (made all of his eight free throws) in 40 minutes. Al Wakrah (7-10) is placed fifth in the D1. It was his team's sixth consecutive victory in a row. They will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And that game will be critical. It's Ayeni's first season with the team. He has very impressive stats this year: 30.2ppg, 11.4rpg, 2.2apg and 2.1spg in 17 games. Ayeni has a dual citizenship: Nigerian and American. Worth to mention Ayeni played also at Eurobasket Summer League, which helped him get the job in pro basketball.

   #4. Olu Ashaolu (200-PF-88, college: Oregon, currently plays in Japan) contributed to a Sanen Neophoenix's victory against the fifth-ranked Yokohama BC (14-25) 85-73 in the Japanese B League last Wednesday. Ashaolu was the top player that evening. He recorded a double-double by scoring 23 points and getting 10 rebounds. Sanen Neophoenix (23-16) is placed second in Central group. Ashaolu's overall stats this season are: 9.1ppg, 5.3rpg and 1.2apg. He is another player who holds two passports: Nigerian and Canadian. Despite Ashaolu's Nigerian nationality, he previously played for the Canadian U18 national team and is probably not eligible to play for the Nigerian team.

   #5. Kieron Achara (208-F/C-83, agency: Two Points, college: Duquesne, currently plays in United Kingdom) helped Glasgow Rocks win their game against the tenth-ranked Cheshire Phoenix (4-15) 95-82 in the British BBL last Friday. He recorded 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and made 2 blocks. Glasgow Rocks (15-5) is placed third in the BBL. It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row. Achara averaged so far 13.1ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, 1.5bpg and 1.2spg. He has both Scottish and Nigerian nationalities.

   #6. P.J. Alawoya (203-F-88, agency: Inception Sports, college: McNeese St., currently plays in Iceland) helped KR win their game against the eighth-ranked IR crushing them 95-73 in a derby game in the Icelandic Dominos League on Sunday night. He was the top player that evening. Alawoya scored 22 points, had 9 rebounds and dished 5 assists in 25 minutes. Alawoya has very impressive stats this year: 16.0ppg, 8.7rpg and 2.0apg in three games. He also holds two passports: Nigerian and American. Alawoya attended previously one of camps at Eurobasket Summer League on his way to pro basketball.

   #7. Chukwudiebere Maduabum (206-F-91, currently plays in Japan) could not help Kagoshima (5-33) in their last game on Sunday. Despite Maduabum's very good performance Kagoshima (#6) was defeated 85-80 on the road by the higher-ranked Bambitious Nara (#4) in the West group. He recorded a double-double by scoring 35 points and getting 12 rebounds. Maduabum also added 2 blocks. Maduabum averaged so far 11.8ppg, 8.8rpg and 2.4bpg.

   #8. Lotanna Nwogbo (203-F/C-93, college: Longwood, currently plays in Argentina) helped Alianza Viedma win their game against the sixth-ranked Gimnasia LP 102-97 in the Argentinian TNA (second division) on Saturday night. He was the top player that evening. Nwogbo recorded a double-double by scoring 22 points and getting 13 rebounds. He also added 2 blocks. This season Nwogbo has very high stats. He averages: 15.3ppg, 8.3rpg and 1.2bpg. Nwogbo holds both American and Nigerian passports.

   #9. Anthony Odunsi (193-G-92, college: Houston Baptist, currently plays in Iceland) helped Stjarnan win their game against the closely-ranked Thor Thorl 86-78 in the Icelandic Dominos League in Thursday night's game. He was the top player that evening. Odunsi had a double-double by scoring 20 points and getting 12 rebounds. He also added 3 assists in 35 minutes. Odunsi has very impressive stats this year: 18.4ppg, 8.0rpg and 2.9apg in seven games. He holds both American and Nigerian passports.

   #10. Semi Ojeleye (201-F-94, currently plays college basketball in the States) helped SMU win their game against the University of Houston 76-66 in the NCAA last Saturday. Ojeleye scored 22 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. This season Ojeleye has very high stats. He averages: 18.3ppg, 6.7rpg and 1.5apg. Ojeleye holds both American and Nigerian passports.   




Chris Otule
Gravelines add Otule to their roster - 1 day ago
BCM Gravelines Dunkerque Grand Littoral (ProA) added to their roster 27-year old American (has also Nigerian passport) center Chris Otule (211-125kg-90, college: Marquette). He already started the season at Strasbourg IG Basket (ProA). In 5 games he recorded 5.4ppg and 3.2rpg this season. Otule also played 2 games in Basketball Champions League where he averaged 4.0ppg and 2.5rpg. The last summer he played at Henan Shedianlaojiu in Chinese NBL. In 27 games he had very impressive stats: 24.3ppg   [read more]

Trevor
Mbakwe
Trevor Mbakwe's double-double lands him Player of the Week award among Nigerians playing currently abroad: - 3 days ago
Here is the weekly review of the top performing Nigerian players, who play currently abroad. Giannis Antetokounmpo (211-G/F-94, agency: Octagon Europe) led Milwaukee Bucks to a victory over the Boston Celtics in the NBA in Wednesday night's game.    [read more]
National team coaches drill campers in Kwese Prospect Camp - 3 days ago
National team coaches comprising Scott Nnaji, Ayinla Johnson, Adeka Daudu, Emma Odah and others are drilling prospective Kwese Premier League players in the ongoing Kwese Prospect Camp holding in Kaduna. A total of 65 campers participating in the inaugural edition of a basketball youth camp were taken through various drills in the morning and afternoon sessions of the opening day at the outdoor courts of the Murtala Square, Kaduna. The camp, a youth development initiative targeted at gr...   [read more]


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