With the long list of injuries befalling Milwaukee Bucks, Nigerian basketball 2020 draft pick, Jordan Nwora, was accorded his first start in the NBA at the weekend.
Getting a chance to prove one’s worth is one thing and making the very best use of it is another.
The forward did not disappoint even though the Bucks lost 102-96 to the New York Knicks. Former NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, former All-Stars Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, and starter Donte DiVincenzo were all out for the Buks.
This development paved the way for former Louisville men’s basketball star Nwora to make his first start in the NBA, using the opportunity to showcase his long-term potential in the league.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward put up 21 points on 7-18 shooting, and hauled in 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, setting career highs in both categories. He also connected on a career-high four three-pointers on eight attempts.
“The biggest thing for me going into this was being confident, that was my first time in a while where I played a lot of minutes,” Nwora said after the game. “Just keeping confident, playing with my teammates, and really just having fun and enjoying the moment.”
Before Saturday’s big chance, Nwora has been somewhat limited this season. He was sent down to the G-League at the beginning of February, where he played in one game before spraining his ankle. The Bucks recalled him soon after to nurse to injury, and he returned to the court on March 20 against the San Antonio Spurs.
Nwora was selected by Milwaukee as the No. 45 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft last November.
Through 14 games in his rookie season with the Bucks, he is averaging 5.4 points and 2.0 rebounds while shooting 41.0% from the field and 48.0% in three-point attempts.
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