- Michael Olowokandi
Michael Olowokandi Olowokandi in 2006 with Earl Barron. Center Personal information Date of birth April 3, 1975 Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria Nationality British High school Newlands Manor School (Seaford, East Sussex) Listed height 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) Listed weight 270 lb (122 kg) Career information College Brunel (1993-1995)
University of the Pacific (1995-1998)
NBA Draft 1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall Selected by the Los Angeles Clippers Pro career 1998–2007 Career history Career highlights and awards Stats at NBA.com
Olowokandi was born in Lagos, Nigeria; his father was a diplomat in Nigeria. His family moved to London, England. Olowokandi attended the Newlands Manor School in Seaford, East Sussex and Brunel University. At Brunel, Olowokandi was an athlete in track and field, cricket, and rugby union and began playing basketball when he was 18. In 1995, he enrolled at the University of the Pacific in the United States after discovering it through Peterson's Guide to American Colleges and Universities. At a 7-foot height, Michael Olowokandi called the basketball office at Pacific in the hopes that he would be accepted. During his junior year, Olowokandi led his team to the NCAA tournament, and after his senior year he was drafted with the first overall pick of the 1998 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. He averaged 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game his senior year and graduated with a degree in economics in 1998. Because of the NBA lockout, Olowokandi signed for Italian team Kinder Bologna. When he eventually signed for the Clippers he played there for five seasons before signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves as an unrestricted free agent before the 2003-04 NBA season.
In 500 career regular season NBA games (399 games started), Olowokandi averaged 8.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.39 blocked shots per game. In 15 playoff games (2 starts), he averaged 2.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.73 blocks per game. In the 2001-2002 season, Olowokandi saw the most playing time of his career and averaged 11.1 points and 8.8 rebounds. During the last 20 games of that season, he averaged 17 points a game and 11 rebounds, and was considered one of the biggest free agents in the 2002-2003 free agency class. He played 36 games in the 2002-2003 season before sustaining an injury that forced him to miss the rest of the season. In his last year with the Los Angeles Clippers, he sustained a hernia and knee injury, which greatly hindered his ability after being listed as a top free agent prospect for the 2002-03 season. He finished that season averaging 12.3 points (on 42.7% shooting from the floor) 9.1 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, and 2.7 turnovers per game. During that offseason, he signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves. His time with the Timberwolves was marked by serious injury and inconsistent play.
On January 26, 2006, he was traded to the Boston Celtics in a multi-player trade.
He is also noted for various charitable contributions. He had proceeds from the sale of his college jersey donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He also donated $100,000 the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles for the purchase of a new incubator for the premature babies' ward. In Boston, a few days before the Thanksgiving holidays, he was with patients at the Children's Hospital who were not able to go home to see their families. Then on Thanksgiving Day, he celebrated his holiday by serving home cooked meals to over 200 homeless men and women at the Pine Street Inn. Olowokandi's #55 jersey was retired by the Pacific Tigers.
Olowokandi has two children with ex-fiancee Suzie Ketcham, who stars on VH1's Basketball Wives.
- ^ a b c "Michael Olowokandi bio". NBA. http://www.nba.com/playerfile/michael_olowokandi/bio.html. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- ^ "U. of Pacific center Michael Olowokandi of Nigeria tops NBA draft". Jet. FindArticles.com. July 13, 1998. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_n7_v94/ai_21251204/. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- ^ CNNSI.com - SI Online - Marty Burns - Inside the NBA - Marty Burns: Free agents may be disappointed - Tuesday July 02, 2002 10:58 AM
- ^ 
- ^ Celtics@Timberwolves recap
- ^ http://nba.com/media/celtics/kandi_childrens400300.jpg
- ^ Retired Numbers
- ^ Sangweni, Yolanda (Thursday, May 20, 2010). "Basketball Wives Star Suzie Ketchum on NBA "Wife" Life". Essence. http://www.essence.com/2010/05/23/basketball-wives-suzie-ketchum/#ixzz1Tp4po8ed. Retrieved 2011, August 1.
- Michael Olowokandi bio at NBA.com
- Michael Olowokandi at ESPN.com
- Career stats
- Pacific Tigers bio (1997)
- NBA Draft Busts
1998 NBA Draft First roundMichael Olowokandi · Mike Bibby · Raef LaFrentz · Antawn Jamison · Vince Carter · Robert Traylor · Jason Williams · Larry Hughes · Dirk Nowitzki · Paul Pierce · Bonzi Wells · Michael Doleac · Keon Clark · Michael Dickerson · Matt Harpring · Bryce Drew · Radoslav Nesterović · Mirsad Türkcan · Pat Garrity · Roshown McLeod · Ricky Davis · Brian Skinner · Tyronn Lue · Felipe López · Al Harrington · Sam Jacobson · Vladimir Stepania · Corey Benjamin · Nazr Mohammed Second roundAnsu Sesay · Ruben Patterson · Rashard Lewis · Jelani McCoy · Shammond Williams · Bruno Šundov · Jerome James · Casey Shaw · DeMarco Johnson · Rafer Alston · Korleone Young · Cuttino Mobley · Miles Simon · Jahidi White · Sean Marks · Toby Bailey · Andrae Patterson · Tyson Wheeler · Ryan Stack · Cory Carr · Andrew Betts · Corey Brewer · Derrick Dial · Greg Buckner · Tremaine Fowlkes · Ryan Bowen · J. R. Henderson · Torraye Braggs · Maceo Baston Big West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year
1970: Trapp | 1971: Trapp | 1972: Ratleff | 1973: Ratleff | 1974: Gray | 1975: Gross | 1976: Copp & Bunch | 1977: McMillian | 1978: Kramer | 1979: Cornelius | 1980: Hunger | 1981: Magee | 1982: Magee | 1983: S. Green | 1984: Adams | 1985: Adams | 1986: Grant & Jones | 1987: Gilliam | 1988: Shaw | 1989: Augmon | 1990: L. Johnson | 1991: L. Johnson | 1992: L. Davis | 1993: Rider | 1994: Stewart | 1995: Franson | 1996: Miglinieks | 1997: Hand | 1998: Olowokandi | 1999: Bergersen | 2000: Milisa | 2001: J. Green | 2002: J. Green | 2003: Fullove | 2004: M. Davis | 2005: Doubley | 2006: Maråker | 2007: Nixon | 2008: Cutley & Harris | 2009: Akognon | 2010: O. Johnson | 2011: Ware
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