NBA: Olajuwon appreciates the massive presence of Africans

Hakeem Olajuwon is one of the basketball legends in the world. Originally from Nigeria (naturalized American), he spent 18 long seasons in the NBA before hanging up in 2002. Among other things, he won two NBA titles, twice MVP of the finals, a title of MVP of the season, etc.

Along with the Sudanese Manute Bol and the Congolese Dikembe Mutombo, he is one of the first Africans to win in this North American league.

Today the former number 34 of the Houston Rockets welcomes the mass presence of young Africans in the NBA.  » You know, first launches the former Rockets at the microphone of RFI, what has been happening for years with the massive arrival of African players in the NBA, that makes me really, really very happy. I had been waiting for this for a long time. Seeing new guys arrive every year, but also becoming the most important players in certain teams, is a sign that things are moving forward. » then to increase « In my time, scouts only focused on inside players and didn’t look at Africans who could play point guard, fullback or winger, Hakeem Olajuwon points out. From now on, scouts and sports directors observe absolutely everything. As a result, we have guys like Hamidou Diallo (Guinea, back, Detroit Pistons), Josh Okogie (back, Phoenix Suns, Nigeria), and Pascal Siakam (winger, Toronto Raptors, Cameroon), who are important in their respective teams.s, “said the African legend in the NBA.

He concluded by urging leaders and recruiters to support the practice of basketball in African countries.  » In Africa, there is talent everywhere. Just give them a chance « , did he declare.

Arnaud-Didier OUALLO

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