Ike Diogu, the former Warriors first-round pick in the 2005 NBA Draft is headed for London after his 25 point, 10 rebound performance in Caracas, Venezuela helped lead Nigeria over the Dominican Republic Sunday night to clinch the final men's basketball berth in the Olympics.
Diogu told the Associated Press, "I'm very happy. We did what had to be done. We knew we were going to face teams that are heavyweights, and we did what we needed to do win."
With six minutes left and the game game tied, Diogu hit a pair of threes and Nigeria never looked back, winning 88-73. The Nigeria team is led by Dioguand current New Orleans Hornet Al-Farouq Aminu.
Nigeria will have a tough road in London, though -- it grabbed the final spot in Group A with the United States, France, Argentina, Tunisia, Lithuania and Argentina. Group B includes Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Russia and Spain. Games begin on July 29 at the Basketball Arena in Stratford, London.
Diogu, 28, was born in Buffalo, NY. His parents are native Nigerians who moved to the U.S. in 1980. Diogu went to high school in Garland, Texas and attended college at Arizona State University.
The 6-foot-9-inch power forward was the ninth-overall pick in 2005 for Golden State (the Knicks took Channing Frye before him, the Lakers took Andrew Bynum after him), but as it turned out, his basketball odyssey was just beginning.
Diogu was traded (see below) to the Indiana Pacers during his second season with the Warriors in 2007. From there the NBA took him to Portland, Sacramento, New Orleans (though he never played a game there), the L.A. Clippers, and the San Antonio Spurs. Since then, Ike has taken his talents overseas.
After a two-game stint with the Spurs, he was on the roster of the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in The People's Republic of China (according to their website, Ike weights 114 kilograms), and at last check we had him playing for Capitanes de Arecibo in Puerto Rico.
Over his NBA career, he averaged 6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. While at Arizona State, Diogu was named to the 2004-2005 AP All American second team when he averaged 21.4 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest.
Pro Basketball Reference
June 28, 2005: Drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the 1st round (9th pick) of the 2005 NBA Draft.
January 16, 2007: Traded by the Golden State Warriors with Mike Dunleavy, Keith McLeod and Troy Murphy to the Indiana Pacers for Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Josh Powell.
July 9, 2008: Traded by the Indiana Pacers with Jerryd Bayless to the Portland Trail Blazers for Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts and Brandon Rush.
February 18, 2009: Traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Sacramento Kings for Michael Ruffin.
July 29, 2009: Signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Hornets.
December 22, 2010: Signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Clippers.January 4, 2012: Signed as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs.
January 11, 2012: Waived by the San Antonio Spurs.