Arinze Onuaku

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Arinze Onuaku
Free agent
Position Power forward / Center
Personal information
Born (1987-07-13) July 13, 1987 (age 28)
Lanham, Maryland
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 275 lb (125 kg)
Career information
High school DuVal (Lanham, Maryland)
Episcopal (Alexandria, Virginia)
College Syracuse (2005–2010)
NBA draft 2010 / Undrafted
Pro career 2011–present
Career history
2011 Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League)
2011 Klaipėdos Neptūnas (Lithuania)
2012–2013 Canton Charge (D-League)
2013 New Orleans Pelicans
2013–2014 Canton Charge (D-League)
2014 Cleveland Cavaliers
2014 →Canton Charge (D-League)
2014 Canton Charge (D-League)
2014 Chongqing Flying Dragons (China 2nd)
2014–2015 Canton Charge (D-League)
2015 Minnesota Timberwolves
Career highlights and awards
  • All-NBA D-League Second Team (2015)
  • All-NBA D-League Third Team (2014)
  • 3x NBA D-League All-Star (2013–2015)

Arinze Christopher Onuaku (born July 13, 1987) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for Syracuse University.

High school career[edit]

Onuaku attended DuVal High School in Lanham, Maryland before transferring in 2003, following his sophomore year, to Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia.[1] As a senior in 2004–05, he earned the Episcopal High School William Caskie Watts MVP Award after helping his squad to a 12-11 record.[2]

College career[edit]

In his freshman season at Syracuse, Onuaku was named to the Big East Conference All-Academic Team and earned SU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll recognition in each of his first two semesters. In 29 games, he averaged 2.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.[2][3]

In October 2006, he underwent surgery on his left knee and subsequently redshirted the 2006–07 season. He was, however, named to the Big East Conference All-Academic Team and earned SU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll recognition for the second straight year following the fall and spring semesters.[2][3]

In his redshirted sophomore season, he ranked second in the Big East Conference and ninth in the nation in field-goal percentage with 62.8%. He was named to the Big East Conference All-Academic Team for the third straight year, and was on the SU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for the fall semester. In 35 games, he averaged 12.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.[2][3]

In his junior season, he was again named to the SU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for the fall semester. In 38 games, he averaged 10.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.[2][3]

In his senior season, he became the 52nd player in Syracuse history to score 1,000 points with four against Florida on December 10, 2009.[4] For the fourth straight year, he was named to the SU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for the fall semester. He also earned 2009 Pre-season All-Big East Honorable Mention honors. In March 2010, he suffered a season-ending leg injury during the Big East Tournament quarter-finals against Georgetown. In 32 games (31 starts), he averaged 10.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 22.8 minutes per game.[2][3]

Onuaku finished his career first on the Syracuse all-time list with a .648 field goal percentage (540-for-833), and 11th all-time with 148 blocked shots.[2]

Professional career[edit]

2010–11 season[edit]

Onuaku went undrafted in the 2010 NBA draft. On March 2, 2011, he was acquired by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.[5]

2011–12 season[edit]

On September 14, 2011, Onuaku signed with Klaipėdos Neptūnas of Lithuania for the 2011–12 season.[6] In December 2011, he parted ways with Neptūnas following a knee injury.

2012–13 season[edit]

On November 2, 2012, Onuaku was selected by the Reno Bighorns in the fourth round of the 2012 NBA D-League draft. Four days later, he was traded to the Canton Charge. On February 4, 2013, he was named to the Futures All-Star roster for the 2013 NBA D-League All-Star Game.[7]

2013–14 season[edit]

In July 2013, Onuaku joined the Phoenix Suns for the 2013 NBA Summer League.[8]

On August 22, 2013, Onuaku signed with the New Orleans Pelicans.[9] On November 12, 2013, he was waived by the Pelicans.[10] On November 27, 2013, he was re-acquired by the Canton Charge.[11] On February 13, 2014, he was named to the Futures All-Star team for the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game, as a replacement for Dewayne Dedmon.[12]

On February 22, 2014, Onuaku signed a 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.[13] He was assigned back down to the Charge the same day.[14] The next day, he was recalled by the Cavaliers.[15] On March 4, 2014, he signed a second 10-day contract with the Cavaliers.[16] On March 8, 2014, he was reassigned to the Charge. He was recalled the same day after playing in the Charge's 118-110 win over the Idaho Stampede.[17][18] He also received assignments to the Charge on March 9 and March 11.[19] On March 12, 2014, he was waived by the Cavaliers.[20] The next day, he was re-acquired by the Charge.

In May 2014, he joined the Chongqing Flying Dragons for the 2014 NBL season. He left the team in late June after averaging 28.6 points and 14.8 rebounds in 19 games.

2014–15 season[edit]

In July 2014, Onuaku joined the Indiana Pacers for the 2014 NBA Summer League.[21] On September 5, 2014, he signed with the Pacers.[22] However, he was later waived by the Pacers on October 25, 2014.[23] On November 25, 2014, he was reacquired by the Canton Charge.[24] On February 4, 2015, he was named to his third Futures All-Star team, this time for the 2015 NBA D-League All-Star Game.[25]

On April 7, 2015, Onuaku signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the rest of the season to help the team deal with numerous injuries. Minnesota had to use an NBA hardship exemption in order to sign him as he made their roster stand at 16, one over the allowed limited of 15.[26] He made his debut for the Timberwolves later that day, recording 6 points and 5 rebounds in a loss to the Sacramento Kings.[27]

NBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

2013–14 New Orleans 3 0 8.3 .250 .000 .500 2.3 1.0 .0 .0 1.0
2013–14 Cleveland 2 0 2.5 .000 .000 .000 .5 .0 .0 .0 .0
2014–15 Minnesota 6 1 11.3 .857 .000 .375 3.5 .7 .2 .5 4.5
Career 11 1 8.9 .684 .000 .400 2.6 .6 .1 .3 2.7


Onuaku is the son of Christopher and Anastasia Onuaku,[2] and has three siblings: Ify, Chuk and Michael.[28]


  1. ^ Ramsey, Ethan (April 16, 2005). "MBB: Arinze Onuaku: The next big thing". Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Arinze Onuaku - 2009-10 Men's Basketball". Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Arinze Onuaku Stats". Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ Waters, Mike (December 16, 2009). "Sweat Equity: Arinze Onuaku's path to 1,000 points". Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Vipers Acquire Former Syracuse Star". March 2, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Neptunas lands Arinze Onuaku". September 14, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ 2013 NBA Development League All-Star Game Rosters Announced
  8. ^ Suns Announce 2013 NBA Summer League Roster
  11. ^ Charge Sign Onuaku as Returning Player
  12. ^ Replacements Announced For 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game Presented by Kumho Tire
  13. ^ "Cavs Sign Arinze Onuaku to 10-Day Contract". February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  14. ^ Cavs Assign Onuaku to Charge
  15. ^ Cavs Recall Onuaku from Charge
  16. ^ Cavs Sign Arinze Onuaku to Second 10-Day Contract
  17. ^ ARMOR UPENDED IN CANTON, 118-110
  18. ^ Pair of Cavs Assignments Lead Charge to Win
  19. ^ 2013-14 NBA Assignments
  20. ^ Cavs Sign Shane Edwards to 10-Day Contract
  21. ^ "Rookie/Free Agent Camp Update". July 3, 2014. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  22. ^ Pacers Sign Four Free Agents
  23. ^ Pacers Waive Four Players
  24. ^ Arinze Onuaku Returns to Canton Charge
  25. ^ Thirteen NBA Veterans Headline Rosters for NBA Development League All-Star Game Presented by Kumho Tire
  26. ^ "Wolves Sign Forward Arinze Onuaku". April 7, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  27. ^ Kings hold off Timberwolves behind Casspi
  28. ^ Celebrating Ndi-Igbo: Arinze Onuaku

External links[edit]