*NBA Academy Graduate led Washington State in rebounds and blocks as a Sophomore in 2021-22
By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Forward Efe Abogidi, an NBA Academy graduate and standout at Washington State, has signed with NBA G League Ignite, NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim announced on Saturday.
“NBA Africa offered me a platform to begin my journey, and I am so thankful for the opportunities that NBA Academy and Washington State provided me,” Abogidi said. “It is with gratitude and excitement that I join NBA G League Ignite and begin my career as a professional basketball player.”
Abogidi joins NBA G League Ignite after playing two seasons at Washington State. As a sophomore in 2021-22, he appeared in all 37 games (29 starts) and averaged 8.1 points and team highs of 5.8 rebounds and 1.78 blocks in 20.8 minutes. A Pac-12 All-Defensive Team Honorable Mention selection, the 6-10 Abogidi ranked second in the conference in blocks per game. He also tied for the team lead with three double-doubles, including a career-high 21 points and 14 rebounds against Washington on Feb. 23.
In 2020-21, Abogidi averaged 8.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.33 blocks in 24.4 minutes in 27 games and earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. He ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in rebounds per game.
A native of Nigeria, Abogidi earned a scholarship to attend NBA Academy Africa, an elite basketball training center in Senegal for the top prospects from throughout Africa and the first of its kind on the continent, in January 2017.
In June 2017, Abogidi transitioned to the NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Australia, which serves as the NBA’s hub for top prospects from the league’s academies. Abogidi is the first NBA Academy Africa alumnus to sign with Ignite and the third NBA Academy graduate overall, following India’s Princepal Singh (NBA Academy India; NBA Global Academy) and Australia’s Dyson Daniels (NBA Global Academy).
Abogidi joins guard Scoot Henderson on Ignite’s roster for the 2022-23 season, which will be the third season for the program. Ignite’s alumni include six NBA Draft picks, including three from the 2022 NBA Draft in fellow NBA Academy graduate Dyson Daniels (No. 8, New Orleans Pelicans), MarJon Beauchamp (No. 24, Milwaukee Bucks) and Jaden Hardy (No. 37, Sacramento Kings to Dallas Mavericks). Jalen Green (No. 2, Houston Rockets) and Jonathan Kuminga (No. 7, Golden State Warriors) were top-10 picks in the 2021 NBA Draft.
NBA G League Ignite is a first-of-its-kind team dedicated to developing top young prospects in preparation for the NBA Draft.
Based in Walnut Creek, Calif., the roster includes elite players who are eligible for the NBA Draft as well as NBA and NBA G League veterans who serve as mentors to the team’s young talent.
The program focuses on high-level competition and accelerated on-court development for players who are beginning their professional careers.
Additionally, the team provides life skills training that includes financial literacy education, community service involvement and scholarship opportunities.
While Ignite is not a traditional NBA G League team, competition includes games against NBA G League opponents and exhibitions against international teams.