D’Tigers captain Ikechukwu Diogu on Tuesday signed for Sichuan Blue Whales from Jiangsu Monkey King in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Diogu who claimed the most valuable player award at the 2017 FIBA AfroBasket in Tunisia, averaged 22 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game and 0.7 assists.
Diogu was selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft by reigning NBA champions Golden State Warriors. The 34-year-old Diogu hasn’t made an NBA appearance since 2012.
The veteran big man ultimately appeared in 225 NBA regular season games, spending time with the Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, LA Clippers, and San Antonio Spurs.
Aside playing in the NBA between 2005-2012, Diogu has played for a variety of international teams since 2012, and will replace former NBA guard Jamaal Franklin on the Whales, who have a CBA-worst 3-20 record this season, winning three games and losing 20.
Diogu’s move to Sichuan makes it the sixth Chinese club he will be playing for and could make his debut for Sichuan Blue Whales against Shanghai Dongfang in Friday’s clash in the CBA.
The former Leones de Ponce forward will once again lead the 2015 Afrobasket champions, Nigeria, in next month’s FIBA African Qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Nigeria will play against Uganda, Mali, and Rwanda in Group B of the first round of the African Qualifiers.