Ike Nwankwo

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Ike Nwankwo
Personal information
Born (1973-12-27) December 27, 1973 (age 43)
Houston, Texas
Nationality American / Nigerian
Listed height 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight 257.4 lb (117 kg)
Career information
High school Cypress Creek
(Houston, Texas)
NBA draft 1998 / Undrafted
Playing career 1998–2010
Position Power forward / Center
Career history
1998 Cocodrilos de Caracas
1998 Piratas de Quebradillas
1998–1999 Tuborg Pilsener
1999 Prokom Trefl Sopot
1999 Piratas de Quebradillas
1999 Tuborg Pilsener
2000 Prokom Trefl Sopot
2000 Mets de Guaynabo
2000 Vaqueros de Bayamón
2000–2001 Sioux Falls Skyforce
2001 Marinos de Oriente
2001–2002 Dynamo Moscow
2002 Cocodrilos de Caracas
2003 Huntsville Flight
2003 Darüşşafaka
2004 Huntsville Flight
2004–2005 CAB Madeira
2005–2006 Ovarense Basquetebol
2006–2007 Queluz
2007 Club Ourense Baloncesto
2007–2008 Belenenses
2008–2009 Club Malvín
2009 Rotterdam Challengers
2009–2010 Thailand Tigers

Ikenna Nwankwo (born December 27, 1973)[1] is a former Nigerian-American professional basketball player. From Houston, Texas, he played college basketball with the UCLA Bruins, winning a national championship in 1995.

College career[edit]

Nwankwo played with the UCLA Bruins, and won a national championship on their 1994–95 team. In his second year as a reserve behind center George Zidek, he played in a career-high 23 games, averaging 2.7 points and 1.6 rebounds. After Zidek graduated, Nwankwo anticipated a larger role in 1995–96; however, freshman Jelani McCoy became the starting center instead. Seeking more playing time, Nwankwo transferred to Long Beach State in January 1996.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Nwankwo began his professional career in Venezuela with the Cocodrilos de Caracas. After a very successful stint where he was the league MVP he then moved to Puerto Rico where he was an MVP candidate in Puerto Rico, with Quebradillas Pirates of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN) from 1998-1999. In 1998 Nwankwo also played his first season in Turkey where he would play for the next two seasons. He played with Tuborg where he led the league in rebounds at 10. 1 per game. He returned to Tuborg the following year until a knee injury cut his season short. He then signed in Poland with Prokom Trefl Sopot. Nwankwo signed with the Miami Heat of the NBA in 2000, the following year he signed with the Houston Rockets. From 2001-2003, Nwankwo played for several European clubs including MBC Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Superleague. In 2003 Nwankwo joined the Huntsville Flight (now Albuquerque Thunderbirds) of the National Basketball Development League. 2004 saw Nwankwo return to Turkey, where he played with Darüşşafaka S.K. of the Turkish Basketball League (TBL). Since 2005, Nwankwo has played in the Portuguese Basketball League (LCB) (2005 with CAB Madeira and since 2006 with CA Queluz.[3]

NBA trials[edit]

Nwankwo signed to play with an NBA squad every year from 2000-2004 except 2003, with the Miami Heat (2000), Houston Rockets (2001), Cleveland Cavaliers (2002)[4] and the Los Angeles Lakers (2004)[5] seasons.

International career[edit]

Although born in the United States, Nwankwo has represented the land of his ancestry, Nigeria, in international competition. He played for Nigeria at the FIBA Africa Championship 2003 and 2006 FIBA World Championship.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

After being a professional basketball player, Nwankwo then starts to coach basketball, he owns a academy in Thailand teaching kids from age 3 to 17. The academy was established in 2010, formally called Topflight (topflightbangkok.com).


His name "Ikenna" means "The Father's Strength" in Igbo[6]


  1. ^ Sports Illustrated profile
  2. ^ Reid, Jason (February 10, 1996). "Southern Exposure : Nwankwo Left UCLA for Long Beach, and the 49ers Like Ike". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 12, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Profile Basketpedya.com
  4. ^ Nwankwo, Barnes, and Cummings waived
  5. ^ Ike Nwankwo NBA.com profile
  6. ^ "Ikenna". Online Nigeria: Nigerian Names and Meanings. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 

External links[edit]