can confirm eight players with African ancestry have been drafted into the NBA ahead of the 2022-2023 NBA Season.

This year’s NBA Draft was held at the Barclays Center and 58 players from US Colleges and Universities and international players were selected by NBA teams to augment their rosters.

BROOKLYN, NY – JUNE 23: Paolo Banchero shakes hands with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected number one overall by the Orlando Magic during the 2022 NBA Draft on June 23, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith were selected first, second and third by the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets respectively.


While no Ghanaian player was drafted though Nathan Mensah and Josh Oduro went through the Draft Combine before withdrawing to return to College for another year, eight players with direct roots from the continent were picked.

Mensah Photo Courtesy: San Diego Tribune

Ousmane Dieng of France but with Senegalese background was the highest drafted as the 11th overall pick by New York Knicks and got traded to OKC Thunder. Dieng played for the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian League prior to getting drafted.


American born Nigerian Shooting Guard Ochai Agbaji was picked 14th by Cleveland Cavaliers after starring at the University of Kansas.


American born Nigerian Mark Williams was picked a spot behind him in 15th by Charlotte Hornets. The rest are Christian Koloko (Cameroon, 33rd pick by Toronto Raptors), Khalifa Diop (Senegal, 39th pick by Cavaliers), Moussa Diabate (Senegal, 43rd pick by LA Clippers), Ismael Kamagate (Ivory Coast, 46th pick by Detroit Pistons) and Yannick Nzosa (DR Congo, 54th pick by Washington Wizards)

Nzosa played in Spain for Unicaja Malaga prior to the draft.

By Yaw Adjei-Mintah

@YawMintYM on Twitter


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