Ime Udoka
ImeUdoka2022.jpg
Udoka in 2022
Boston Celtics
PositionHead coach
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1977-08-09) August 9, 1977 (age 44)
Portland, Oregon
NationalityAmerican / Nigerian
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High schoolJefferson (Portland, Oregon)
College
NBA draft2000 / Undrafted
Playing career2000–2012
PositionSmall forward
Number5, 8, 3
Coaching career2012–present
Career history
As player:
2000–2001Fargo-Moorhead Beez
2001Independiente
2002–2003North Charleston Lowgators
2003Adirondack Wildcats
2003–2004Charleston Lowgators
2004Los Angeles Lakers
2004Charleston Lowgators
2004Gran Canaria
2005JA Vichy
2005–2006Fort Worth Flyers
2006New York Knicks
2006–2007Portland Trail Blazers
20072009San Antonio Spurs
2009–2010Sacramento Kings
2010–2011San Antonio Spurs
2012UCAM Murcia
As coach:
20122019San Antonio Spurs (assistant)
2019–2020Philadelphia 76ers (assistant)
2020–2021Brooklyn Nets (assistant)
2021–presentBoston Celtics
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As assistant coach:

Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Medals

Ime Sunday Udoka (/ˈm ˈdkə/ EE-may oo-DOH-kə; born August 9, 1977) is an American-Nigerian professional basketball coach and former player who is the head coach for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He represented the Nigeria national team during his playing career.

Early life

Udoka was born in Portland, Oregon on August 9, 1977. He attended Portland's Jefferson High School.[1]

College career

Udoka played for Utah State University Eastern and the University of San Francisco before transferring to Portland State University where he starred for the Vikings.[2]

Professional career

Udoka with the San Antonio Spurs in 2010
Udoka with the San Antonio Spurs in 2010

Udoka started his professional basketball career by playing in the NBDL with the Charleston Lowgators who drafted him with 39th overall pick in 2002 NBDL Draft.[3] He was called up to play with the Los Angeles Lakers on January 14, 2004, but was later waived. After a stint in Europe, he returned to the states and once again drafted in NBDL. This time he was drafted 3rd overall by Fort Worth Flyers in 2005 NBDL Draft.[4] He averaged 17.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game with the Flyers.[5] On April 6, 2006, Udoka was signed by the New York Knicks. Udoka was waived by the Knicks on September 11, 2006.

Udoka was the last player invited to his hometown Portland Trail Blazers training camp before the 2006–07 season, getting the invitation only after Aaron Miles failed a physical. Despite the death of his father during the preseason,[6] Udoka impressed the coaching staff with his defensive skills and made the team.[citation needed] After having played in only 12 NBA games in his career, Udoka started in 75 games played in the 2006–07 season. He played 28.6 minutes per game while averaging 8.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 0.9 steals.

In 2007, Udoka signed a contract with the San Antonio Spurs.[5][7] He played in 73 games averaging 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 18 minutes. On his second season with the Spurs, Udoka played in 67 games, and started in three. He averaged 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 15.4 minutes.[8]

Following the 2009 season, Udoka became a free agent, eventually re-signing with the Trail Blazers.[9] He was waived by the Blazers on October 22, 2009,[10][11] but signed with the Sacramento Kings on November 4, 2009.[12] He played 69 games with the Kings, averaging 3.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 13.7 minutes.

On November 24, 2010, Udoka rejoined the Spurs,[13] but he was waived on January 5, 2011 after playing only 20 games.[14]

On December 15, 2011, Udoka signed with the New Jersey Nets.[15] However, he was waived on December 23, 2011.[16]

In January 2012, Udoka signed with UCAM Murcia of the Spanish Liga ACB.[17]

Coaching career

San Antonio Spurs (2012–2019)

In August 2012, Udoka joined the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich. Udoka would win his first championship after the Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals 4–1.[18]

Udoka was also the key for LaMarcus Aldridge's decision to join the Spurs in 2015. Both Udoka and Aldridge played together with the Trail Blazers during Aldridge's rookie season.[19]

Philadelphia 76ers (2019–2020)

In June 2019, Udoka was hired as an assistant coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.[20] Udoka's head coach on the 76ers, Brett Brown, also coached under Gregg Popovich for the Spurs, and Udoka and Brown were on the same staff in the 2012–13 season.[21]

Brooklyn Nets (2020–2021)

On October 30, 2020, the Brooklyn Nets hired Udoka as an assistant coach.[22]

Boston Celtics (2021–present)

Udoka in 2021
Udoka in 2021

On June 28, 2021, Udoka was hired as head coach of the Boston Celtics, becoming the 5th head coach of African origin in Boston Celtics history.[23][24][25][26]

National team career

Udoka was a player on the Nigerian national team. At the 2006 FIBA World Championships, Udoka led Nigeria in scoring, assists, and steals.[26] Udoka also played for Nigeria in the 2005 and 2011 FIBA Africa Championships, winning a bronze medal in both tournaments.[27]

Udoka has served as an assistant coach for USA Basketball under his Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich. Udoka's coaching role on the 2019 FIBA World Cup team helped him build relationships with Celtics players Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart, who advocated for his hiring as the new Boston head coach.[28] Udoka also coached for Team USA under Popovich at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, along with Celtics assistant Will Hardy.[29]

Personal life

Udoka's father, who was of Nigerian descent, died in 2006,[6] which qualified Udoka for Nigerian citizenship. His older sister, Mfon, played in the WNBA. His mother, who died in late 2011, was an American from Illinois.[30]

In November 2011, Udoka's then-girlfriend, Nia Long gave birth to their first child, Kez Sunday Udoka.[31] The couple became engaged in May 2015.[32]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  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

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2003–04 L.A. Lakers 4 0 7.0 .333 .000 .500 1.3 .5 .5 .2 2.0
2005–06 New York 8 0 14.3 .375 .333 .500 2.1 .8 .1 .0 2.8
2006–07 Portland 75 75 28.6 .461 .406 .742 3.7 1.5 .9 .2 8.4
2007–08 San Antonio 73 0 18.0 .424 .370 .759 3.1 .9 .8 .2 5.8
2008–09 San Antonio 67 3 15.4 .383 .328 .609 2.8 .8 .5 .2 4.3
2009–10 Sacramento 69 2 13.7 .378 .286 .737 2.8 .8 .5 .1 3.6
2010–11 San Antonio 20 0 6.5 .238 .000 .500 .9 .7 .4 .0 .7
Career 316 80 18.1 .417 .356 .705 2.9 1.0 .7 .2 5.2

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008 San Antonio 16 0 14.8 .465 .400 .714 2.9 1.1 .7 .1 5.4
2009 San Antonio 5 0 20.8 .350 .125 .400 4.6 .8 .8 .2 3.4
Career 21 0 16.2 .440 .354 .583 3.3 1.0 .7 .1 5.0

Head coaching record

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Boston 2021–22 82 51 31 .622 1st in Atlantic 11 8 3 .727 TBD
Career 82 51 31 .622   11 8 3 .727  

References

  1. ^ "Source: Celtics hire former Trail Blazer Ime Udoka as new coach". kgw8.com. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  2. ^ "Celtics hire Ime Udoka as next coach". www.nba.com. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  3. ^ "2002-03 NBDL Draft Board". NBA.com. October 31, 2002. Archived from the original on August 15, 2007. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "2005 NBA D-League Draft Board". NBA.com. November 3, 2005. Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Monroe, Mike (August 13, 2007). "Spurs: Udoka agrees to contract". mysanantonio.com. Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Nigeria - Former Viking Ime Udoka makes his way". FIBA.basketball. February 16, 2007. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  7. ^ "Spurs add Blazers' sniper Udoka". ESPN.com. August 16, 2007. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  8. ^ "Ime Udoka Career Stats Page". NBA.com. Archived from the original on August 31, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  9. ^ "Trail Blazers Sign Ime Udoka". NBA.com. September 25, 2009. Archived from the original on September 28, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  10. ^ "Udoka, Collins waived by Blazers". ESPN.com. October 22, 2009. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  11. ^ Quick, Jason (October 22, 2009). "Ime Udoka: 'I thought these times were behind me ...'". oregonlive.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  12. ^ "Kings sign Ime Udoka". FOX Sports. November 4, 2009. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  13. ^ "Spurs Sign Ime Udoka". NBA.com. November 24, 2010. Archived from the original on November 27, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  14. ^ "Spurs Waive Ime Udoka". NBA.com. January 5, 2011. Archived from the original on January 8, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  15. ^ "NETS Sign Ime Udoka". NBA.com. December 15, 2011. Archived from the original on January 23, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  16. ^ Castillo, Jorge (December 24, 2011). "Nets finalize roster by waiving Ime Udoka, keeping Linwood native Dennis Horner". NJ.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  17. ^ "Udoka firma por el UCAM Murcia". ucamdeportes.com. January 5, 2012. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  18. ^ "Ime Udoka Joins Spurs Coaching Staff". NBA.com. August 28, 2012. Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  19. ^ "LaMarcus Aldridge: Ime Udoka got the Spurs deal done". Sports Illustrated. August 24, 2015. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  20. ^ Pompey, Keith (June 7, 2019). "Sixers hiring Ime Udoka to become lead assistant coach". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on June 7, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  21. ^ "Brett Brown". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  22. ^ "Brooklyn Nets Announce Coaching Staff". NBA.com. October 30, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  23. ^ "Celtics Name Ime Udoka 18th Head Coach in Franchise History". NBA.com. June 28, 2021. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  24. ^ "Boston Celtics to hire Ime Udoka: Brooklyn Nets Assistant to be named new coach, per report".
  25. ^ "Celtics hire Nets assistant Ime Udoka as next coach". NBA.com. June 28, 2021. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  26. ^ a b "New Celtics head coach Ime Udoka's path from Nigeria to Boston". The Undefeated. June 28, 2021. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  27. ^ "Who is Ime Udoka? Four things to know about Celtics' next head coach". www.sportingnews.com. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  28. ^ Helin, Kurt (June 23, 2021). "Report: Celtics to hire Ime Udoka as new head coach". ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  29. ^ "How Celtics fans can watch Jayson Tatum, Team USA play this week". RSN. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  30. ^ Mazzeo, Mike (December 15, 2011). "Udoka dealing with tragedy". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  31. ^ Finn, Natalie (November 10, 2011). "Nia Long gives birth to her second son". today.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  32. ^ Mackie, Drew (May 26, 2015). "Nia Long Is Engaged to Ime Udoka". people.com. Archived from the original on March 8, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2020.