Nigerian basketball coaches and players have hailed former D’Tigers star, Ime Udoka, after he was appointed the 18th coach of NBA side, Boston Celtics.
The appointment, which was confirmed on Monday by the 17-time NBA champions, was received with celebration by basketball lovers in the country.
Udoka, a seven-year NBA veteran, represented Nigeria at the 2005 and 2011 Afrobasket in Algeria and Madagascar, winning bronze medals on both occasions.
The 43-year-old spent nine years as assistant coach at three NBA teams – San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets. He won the NBA as an assistant coach in 2014 with the Spurs.
Reacting to the news, former D’Tigress coach Scot Nnaji told The PUNCH, “Ime becoming a head coach in the NBA shows that we have so much to offer in the world of basketball. I believe this is a very good development and I’m confident he is going to do well in that capacity.”
Ogor Odaudu, Rivers Hoopers coach, a teammate of Udoka in the national team, believes Udoka would rise to become one of the “amazing coaches” in the NBA, after his nine-year experience as an assistant coach.
“He was an assistant coach to Gregg Popovich at San Antonio Spurs and the US national team and everyone that has served under Popovich has gone on to be successful. I believe Ime will go on to become an amazing coach too. It is only going to get better from here,” Odaudu said.
Source: Nigerian Newspapers Online