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Udoka appointed as head coach of the Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics have confirmed the appointment of former Nigeria basketball star, Ime Udoka as their new head coach. He is the 6th Black coach in Celtics history.

The Nigerian American, whose father, Vitalis Udoka, emigrated from Africa’s most populous nation before Ime Udoka was born, is the first person of African origin to serve as a head coach in the NBA.

The 2010 Conference champions made the announcement in a statement released on their official website on Monday.

“The Boston Celtics have named seven-year NBA veteran Ime Udoka the franchise’s next head coach, making him the 18th head coach in the organization’s 75-year history. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed,” the statement read.

Udoka, 43, joins the Celtics franchise after spending the last nine NBA seasons as an assistant coach between San Antonio (2012-13 to 2018-19), Philadelphia (2019-20), and Brooklyn (2020-21).

Teams that Udoka has served as an assistant coach on have qualified for the playoffs in all nine seasons, with one of those years resulting in an NBA championship (Spurs, 2014).

In addition to his coaching experience in the NBA, Udoka was also an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich and the USA Basketball Men’s National Team in 2018.

Udoka played 12 years of professional basketball, including seven seasons in the NBA from 2003-04 to 2010-11.

He averaged 5.2 points on 41.7% shooting (35.6% 3-PT), 2.9 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 18.1 minutes in 316 career games with San Antonio, Portland, Sacramento, New York, and the Los Angeles Lakers.

He also represented Nigeria in international competition throughout his playing career, earning bronze medals in 2005 and 2011 at the African Championships.

He began his collegiate career at Utah State University Eastern (1995-97) before transferring to the University of San Francisco (1997-98) and finishing up at Portland State (1999-00).

And speaking on his appointment, Udoka said:”It’s an honor to be a part of the historic Celtics franchise. Coaching this talented roster and working alongside Brad makes it an ideal situation.

“I’d like to thank Wyc, Steve, and Brad for entrusting me with this opportunity. I look forward to getting started right away.”

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