Okafor during a Deleware 87ers game in Jan 2018
|Full name||Chukwuemeka Ndubuisi Okafor|
|Born||September 28, 1982 |
|Listed height||6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)|
|Listed weight||255 lb (116 kg)|
|Position||Center /Power forward|
|High school||Bellaire (Bellaire, Texas)|
|NBA Draft||2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd|
|Selected by the Charlotte Bobcats|
|Playing career||2004–2018 (14 years)|
|2009–2012||New Orleans Hornets|
|2018||New Orleans Pelicans|
|Career highlights and awards|
Chukwuemeka "Emeka" Ndubuisi Okafor (born September 28, 1982) is an American former professional basketball player.
Emeka was born on September 28, 1982, in Houston, Texas. His parents are Nigerian descents, and Emeka was the first American born family member.
Okafor played at Bellaire High School with both future Oklahoma State star and NBA player, John Lucas III. Okafor averaged 22 points, 16 rebounds and 7 blocks in his senior season. Bellaire was 26–5 in that season, losing 56–42 in the third round of the 2001 UIL state playoffs, to Willowridge High School and future Texas standout T. J. Ford.
Okafor played for the University of Connecticut, picking UCONN over Arkansas and Vanderbilt. He is notable for being a forward/center on the men's basketball team from 2001–04 where teammates were Charlie Villanueva, Marcus Williams, Ben Gordon, Hilton Armstrong, and Josh Boone, who all went on to play in the NBA. Okafor majored in Finance, and he graduated with honors after three years in May 2004 with a 3.8 GPA. Okafor was named the Academic All-American of the Year in 2004 for his work on and off the court.
On April 16, 2004, Emeka declared for the 2004 NBA Draft, which meant forgoing his senior year in college. He managed to receive his undergraduate degree in Accounting/Finance in three academic years. During the draft, Okafor was selected with the 2nd overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats; the 2nd pick was originally owned by the Los Angeles Clippers. He was the first pick for the Bobcats because this draft was the Bobcats first official draft.
Charlotte Bobcats (2004-09)
The 2004–05 NBA season was a successful campaign as Okafor coped well with the pressures of being the star rookie on an expansion franchise. Highlights of the season included recording 19 straight double-doubles from November 21 through January 1, and finishing seventh among Eastern Conference forwards in NBA All-Star Game fan balloting with 408,082 votes, by far the highest number garnered by any rookie in 2005. At the end of the season, Okafor beat out his friend and former college teammate and roommate, Chicago Bulls guard Ben Gordon, to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
On June 24, 2005, the Bobcats picked up the option for the fourth year on Okafor's contract, as he has quickly established himself as the face of the franchise, and a solid player for years to come. Okafor finished his rookie season with 44.7% field goal percentage and per-game averages of 15.1 points, 10.9 rebounds (ranked 4th in the league), and 1.7 blocks.
- Block Videos - A collection of block videos featuring Emeka Okafor.
- Bobbleheads - A collection of bobbleheads featuring Emeka Okafor.
- Dunk Videos - A collection of dunk videos featuring Emeka Okafor.
- Jersey Gallery - A gallery featuring Emeka Okafor wearing different team jerseys.
- Magazine covers - A collection of magazines featuring Emeka Okafor.
- Photo Gallery - Photos featuring Emeka Okafor
- Shoe Gallery - A gallery of Emeka Okafor's signature shoes.