Celtics Name Nigerian 18th Head Coach In Franchise History

The Boston Celtics have named seven-year NBA veteran, Ime Udoka the franchise’s subsequent head coach, making him the 18th head coach within the organisation’s 75-year historical past, Theundefeated.com studies

“I would like to welcome Ime, Nia, Kez, and Massai to the Boston Celtics. Among the many outstanding qualities that Ime brings to the table are his character, humility, and competitiveness. He has a relentless work ethic and a vast array of experiences as a player and coach,” mentioned Celtics President of Basketball Operations, Brad Stevens.

Celtics Name Nigerian 18th Head Coach In Franchise History 2

“He’s a leader that is warm and demanding, and we are so excited that he has chosen to join us in pursuit of Banner 18.”

Udoka joins the Celtics franchise after spending the final 9 NBA seasons as an assistant coach between San Antonio (2012-13 to 2018-19), Philadelphia (2019-20), and Brooklyn (2020-21). 

Teams that Udoka has served as an assistant coach on have certified for the playoffs in all 9 seasons, with a kind of years leading to an NBA championship (Spurs, 2014).

In addition to his teaching expertise within the NBA, Udoka was additionally an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich and the USA Basketball Men’s National Team in 2018.

He performed for the Nigerian males’s nationwide staff in the course of the 2006 FIBA World Championship, the place he led the staff in scoring, assists and steals, and was second in rebounds. He additionally performed for Nigeria in the course of the 2005 and 2011 FIBA Africa championships. Udoka and his sister, Mfon Udoka, who performed for the Nigerian ladies’s nationwide staff and within the WNBA for 3 seasons, have been the primary brother-sister pair to play in each the NBA and WNBA, in response to a 2006 report within the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s inspiring to see more players, coaches and personnel, born in Africa or with direct ties to the continent, receive opportunities across the league. Just as Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka continue to inspire the next generation of African players, Ime Udoka is a trailblazer for aspiring coaches from Nigeria and across the continent,” mentioned NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams.

Udoka’s basketball profession began at Utah State University Eastern, the place Udoka recorded the primary triple-double at school historical past. After two seasons, Udoka transferred to the University of San Francisco, spending one season with the Dons earlier than ending his collegiate profession at Portland State.

After not being chosen within the 2000 NBA draft, which he has chalked as much as a knee harm on the finish of his senior season, Udoka hung out within the NBA’s developmental league (now the G League), in France and Spain, and had temporary stints with the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks from 2003 to 2006.

Ahead of the 2006-07 season, Udoka signed with the Portland Trail Blazers, the place he began 75 video games. He remained within the league for 4 further seasons, with stops with the Sacramento Kings and most notably the Spurs, earlier than retiring from skilled basketball in 2012.

That identical 12 months, Udoka was employed as an assistant by the final NBA coach he performed for: the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich.

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Celtics Name Nigerian 18th Head Coach In Franchise History

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