Birthday: August 9, 1977
Nationality: American, Nigerian
Famous: Coaches Basketball Players
Age: 42 Years, 42 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Leo
Also Known As: Ime Sunday Udoka
Born Country: United States
Born In: Portland, Oregon
Famous As: American-Nigerian Basketball Player
Height: 6’6″ (198 cm), 6’6″ Males
Father: Vitalis Udoka
Children: Kez Sunday Udoka
Partner: Nia Long (2010–)
U.S. State: Oregon
Ime Udoka is a Nigerian-American former professional basketball player who currently serves as the assistant coach for the NBA team San Antonio Spurs. He is also the fiancé of actress Nia Long, best known for her performances in the film ‘The Best Man’ and the television series ‘Third Watch’. He previously played for the Spurs for three seasons as a small forward. He also played internationally for the Nigerian basketball team, and helped them win bronze medals at the 2005 and 2011 FIBA Africa Championships in Algeria and Madagascar, respectively. As a player, he was honored with the ‘Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award’ in 2006. In his present role as an assistant coach, he helped the Spurs win the 2014 NBA Finals, defeating the Miami Heat by 4-1. Thanks to his recent success, he is being touted as a strong candidate for the head coach’s position by sports media.
Rise to Stardom
Ime Udoka played school level basketball at Jefferson High School and later played for both the San Francisco Dons and the Portland State Vikings during his college career. He was undrafted in the 2000 NBA Draft, following which he briefly joined Fargo-Moorhead Beez and Club Sportivo Independiente. His professional basketball career began after he was drafted by the Charleston Lowgators as the 39th overall pick in the 2002 NBDL Draft. He later joined the Los Angeles Lakers and played his first professional match for only six minutes as a reserve against Denver Nuggets on January 14, 2004. He was waived later that season and returned to Charleston Lowgators for some time before he moved to Europe for briefs stints with Spanish club Gran Canaria and French club JA Vichy. He returned to the United States for the 2005 NBDL Draft and was selected as the 3rd overall pick by Fort Worth Flyers. He averaged 17.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game for Flyers during that season. He was signed by New York Knicks in April 2006 and was waived by the team in September that year.
Soon after that, he got the opportunity to play for his hometown team Portland Trail Blazers, when Aaron Miles failed to pass a physical examination. As his replacement, Udoka showcased his impressive defense skills and professionalism throughout the season despite going through personal tragedies like the death of his father. He was only 12 NBA games old when he went on to start 75 games for the Blazers in the 2006–07 season, playing 28.6 minutes per game with an average of 8.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 0.9 steals.
Later Career & Coaching
While the 2006–07 season was the peak point in Ime Udoka’s career, he continued to impress even in the next few seasons. He signed a contract with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 and played for them for three seasons. In the first season, he played 18 minutes per game and averaged 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 73 games. In the following seasons, his playtime decreased to 15.4 minutes per game in 67 games, during which he earned an average of 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds. He returned to the Blazers as a free agent in the following season, but was waived from the team in October 2009. The following month, he signed a contract with Sacramento Kings and played 69 games for them at 13.7 minutes per game with an average of 3.6 points and 2.8 rebounds. He came back to San Antonio Spurs for another season in November 2010, but only played 20 games before being waived from the team in January next year. He was signed to New Jersey Nets for about a week in December 2011 before he returned to Spanish ACB League to play for UCAM Murcia in January 2012, which was his final season as a player.
In August 2012, he joined his former team the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach. In his new position, his first big achievement was winning the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. He was also instrumental in convincing LaMarcus Aldridge, his rookie season teammate at the Blazers, to join the Spurs in 2015.
Family & Personal Life
Ime Sunday Udoka was born on August 9, 1977 in Portland, Oregon, to a Nigerian father and an American mother from Illinois. His father Vitalis Udoka is from the state of Akwa Ibom in Nigeria. He has an older sister, Mfon, who is a former WNBA player. He attended Jefferson High School in Portland before enrolling in the University of San Francisco. He later transferred to Portland State University.
Udoka began dating actress Nia Long in 2010. They welcomed their first child, son Kez Sunday Udoka, on November 7, 2011. The couple announced their engagement in May 2015. Long has another son from her previous relationship with Massai Dorsey.