D’Tigers point guard, Ike Iroegbu made a strong impression in his side’s preseason game against LA Lakers on Friday night. Iroegbu made 3-of-9 shots for seven points, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out one assist in 17minutes in Clippers 104-111 loss to LA Lakers. The former Washington State University (WSU) guard only signed hurriedly for Clippers developmental league team in Ontario on Friday afternoon and was made to feature later that night at the Staples Center.
Iroegbu had just returned home from a 90 minute workout, he went on to relax. While watching a replay of the Clippers’ victory over Sacramento Kings on Thursday night, he got a call from his agent.
The club’s front office had phoned Iroegbu’s agent, who dialed his client just before noon to share the message.
How fast can you get to the airport?” his agent asked.
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“About 45 minutes,” Iroegbu answered. Reports www.ocregister.com
Iroegbu needed to act quickly, so he packed a bag with basketball sneakers and clothes, then his mother gave him a ride to the Sacramento International Airport for a 3 p.m. flight to Burbank. “Then that flight got pushed back,” Iroegbu explained to Los Angeles reporters on Friday night whose golden opportunity was almost dashed.
“My agent told me if I can’t make my flight then there’s probably not a good chance I’m going to be able to make it (with the Clippers),” he said. Iroegbu made an instant decision as he jumped on another flight bound for Los Angeles International Airport, then spent a nervous hour in the air as he mentally prepared for his first NBA game. “I was a little nervous, but then I told myself it’s just basketball at the end of the day,” Iroegbu said.
Iroegbu arrived at Staples Center and was presented with a No. 19 jersey, took a stress test but was still in shock at meeting the same players he had seen on television in Sacramento. Clippers coach Doc Rivers told the Nigerian guard, “Just play hard and go out there and play basketball.”
The Nigerian who was praised by coach Rivers after the game, was instrumental at the FIBA Afrobasket tournament in Senegal and Tunisia. He scored 14.5 ppt, chipped in 5 assists and 4.5 rebounds, leading Nigeria to a second place finish. Iroegbu signed a deal with LA’s G-League club in Ontario, the Agua Caliente Clippers. They open their inaugural season on Nov. 3 at home against the Santa Cruz Warriors.