Nigerian Born Basketball Stars Clinch NBA and WNBA MVP Awards

Nigerian Born Basketball Stars Clinch NBA and WNBA MVP Awards

Oluwatomiwa Babalola
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:47 PM
  • What an incredible time to be a Nigerian in the United States as Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo clinched the NBA playoff finals MVP award
  • The Nigerian-Greek superstar scored a whopping 50 points in the final game that sealed their triumph over Pheonix Suns
  • Meanwhile, Arike Ogunbowale also claimed the WNBA MVP prize after her spectacular display for Dallas Wings

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Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the NBA's most valuable player after helping Milwaukee Bucks clinch their first title since 1971.

The 26-year-old scored a staggering 50 points as the Eastern Conference outfit defeated Phoenix Suns 105-98 in the playoff finals.

Giannis, who was born to a Nigerian parent became the youngest player to win the NBA Finals MVP after Kawhi Leonard did so at the age of 22 in 2014.

Nigerian-born basketballers Giannis Antetokounmpo and Arike Ogunbowale won NBA and WNBA MVP awards
Giannis Antetokounmpo speaking with the fans after winning the NBA title and the MVP award. Photo by David Sherman/NBAE
Source: Getty Images

Giannis Antetokounmpo's incredible stats

CBS Sports report that the superstar averaged 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, and five assists per game in his debut appearances at the playoffs finals.

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The publication added that his impressive display of athleticism and skill drowned the Suns, but before the series began, he wasn't sure he would play.

However, the Bucks claimed the NBA title this year after winning four of their six games series despite starting on a low after losing their first two games before bouncing back to win the remaining four in a row.

And Giannis was at the centre of the turnaround for the Mike Budenholzer-led squad as they ended their long wait for the silverware.

Dallas Wings' Arike Ogunbowale wins WNBA MVP award

Meanwhile, the Bucks star is not the only player of Nigerian descent who was celebrated at the end of last season as Arike Ogunbowale of Dallas Wings was also voted the WNBA MVP of the finals.

Nigerians who have also won the awards

They join the likes of Akeem Olajuwon who won the award in 1994 and 1995 as well as Nneka Ogwumike, the WNBA MVP recipient in 2016.

Giannis Antetokounmpo declares love for Nigeria, Africa earlier reported that after inspiring Milwaukee Bucks to win the NBA title over Phoenix Suns, Giannis Antetokounmpo has professed his love for Nigeria, Sky Sports reports.

The 26-year-old dropped 50 points in the NBA finals having made a sensational recovery from a hyperextended knee in the Conference Finals against Atlanta Hawks.

His side dominated the NBA finals and won 105-98; although he was not fully fit for the encounter, Antetokounmpo still managed 20 points, but from Game 2, there was no stopping him.

Oluwatomiwa Babalola photo
Oluwatomiwa Babalola