Ranking the Top 10 African Born Players in the NBA for the 2022/23 Season

Ranking the Top 10 African Born Players in the NBA for the 2022/23 Season

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:29 PM
  • Africa has produced some of the best basketball players
  • Some have gotten the chance to play in the NBA in the last few decades
  • Joel Embiid is the best African-born player in the NBA this season, but who are the others?

African-born players in the NBA have taken the league by storm in the 2022/23 season.

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is edging closer to winning the 2022/23 MVP award. If he does, he will become the second African-born player to win the MVP award after Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994.

Who are the other African-born players that have caught the eye? Sports Brief looks at some African-born players thriving in the NBA.

Joel Embiid, Jonathan Kuminga, Precious Achiuwa, Sixers, Warriors, Raptors, NBA
Embiid is considered one of the best African-born players of all time. Photos by Barry Gossage/NBAE, Joe Murphy/NBAE and Chris Schwegler/NBAE.
Source: Getty Images

Plenty of NBA players with African roots have dominated the league. For instance, Greek-Nigerian, Giannis Antetokounmpo is arguably the best NBA player right now.

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Although most don't have the numbers that Embiid puts up nightly, they've become reliable contributors to their respective teams.

Top 10 African-born players in the NBA

10. Chimezie Metu

The Sacramento Kings' big man has contributed to the Kings' impressive season. He was born in Los Angeles to Nigerian parents before moving back to Nigeria. The San Antonio Spurs drafted him in the 2018 NBA draft before signing for the Kings in 2020. He signed a multi-year deal in 2021. The 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 4.8 points and three rebounds in 62 games this season.

9. Precious Achiuwa

Achiuwa was born in Port Harcourt to Nigerian parents. The 23-year-old is having a decent season. He is averaging 8.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game. He recently signed a four-year deal that could be worth up to $52 million, per the Athletic.

8. Bismack Biyombo

Biyombo is a veteran in the NBA. The Democratic Republic of Congo star was drafted in 2011, and being in the league for ten years is a testament to his productivity. The 30-year-old is averaging 4.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 56 games for the Phoenix Suns. He has played for four NBA teams.

7. Serge Ibaka

Ibaka would be higher on the list, but he has declined significantly. He last played for the Milwaukee Bucks. He won the NBA title with the Toronto Raptors in 2020, playing a vital role in the championship run.

6. Wenyen Gabriel

The Sudanese plays alongside NBA'a all-time leading scorer for the NBA, LeBron James, on the Los Angeles Lakers. He recently signed a standard NBA contract after playing under a two-way contract. He was born in Khartoum n 1997 after his family fled civil war in the south.

5. Bol Bol

Paolo Banchero has grabbed the headlines for the Orlando Magic this season. However, Bol Bol has quietly produced top performances. He was born in 1999 to former NBA player Manute Bol and his wife Ajok Kuag in Khartoum, Sudan. In 67 games this season, he's averaging 9 points and 5.8 rebounds while playing 21.4 minutes, per NBA.

4. Josh Okogie

Okogie is one of the best defenders in the NBA. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria, before his family moved to the United States when he was a child. The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted him in the 2018 draft. He's averaging 7.2 points in 66 games this season.

3. Jonathan Kuminga

Kuminga is only in his second NBA season but has become an important player for the Golden State Warriors. He won the 2022 NBA title with the Warriors and has shown promising signs. He was born in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

2. Pascal Siakam

Siakam is an NBA champion, a 2x All-Star, and the 2019 Most Improved Player. He is Toronto Raptors' best player. Siakam's journey started in Douala, Cameroon and he joined the NBA through the Basketball Without Borders program, per ESPN.

1. Joel Embiid

Embiid may end up winning his first MVP award this season. He is arguably the best player in the NBA right now. He is averaging 33.2 points per game. Just like his compatriot Siakam, Siakam, Embiid's journey to the NBA started with the Basketball Without Borders program, per SLAM.

Nikola Jokic praises Embiid

Sports Brief earlier reported on reigning NBA MVP, Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic praising MVP rival Embiid after the Nuggets beat the Sixers.

The two centers are battling for the MVP award all season as Jokic looks to win his third award in a row. Jokic had nothing but praise for Embiid

"The guy's a beast, and he's so talented. He can affect [the game] many ways on the floor."
Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.