Obinna Ekezie

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Obinna Ekezie
Oekezie.jpg
Obinna Ekezie
Position: Forward
Height: 6'9"
Weight: 270
Nationality: Nigerian/American
Born: 8/22/75
Birthplace: Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Africa
Draft: Round 2
Drafted By: Vancouver Grizzlies
College: University of Maryland
NBA Career: 1999-2005
Mavs Tenure: 2001

Obinna Ekezie (born August 22, 1975 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria) was acquired in a trade along with Juwan Howard and Calvin Booth from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Courtney Alexander, Christian Laettner, Loy Vaught, Hubert Davis, Etan Thomas and cash on February 22, 2001.

Ekezie had played only two years of organized basketball prior to enrolling at the University of Maryland. With the Terrapins, the 6'9 forward improved his game and established himself as a force under the basket. His scoring average rose from 4.5 points his freshman year to 12.7 as a senior.

The Vancouver Grizzlies selected Ekezie in the second round of the 1999 NBA draft. He played one season with Vancouver, appearing in 39 games and averaging 3.2 points and 2.4 rebounds. He moved to Washington the next season and saw action in 29 games before being traded to the Mavs in February of 2001.

With Dallas the final two months of the season he only appeared in four games (eight minutes total) scoring no points and grabbing two rebounds. He spent the season deep on Dallas' bench before being released on May 1, 2001.

The Los Angeles Clippers signed Ekezie for the 2001-2002 season and he played 29 games for L.A. before taking his game overseas. He went to Serbia and played for Red Star Belgrade.

Returning to the NBA in 2004, Ekezie had his most successful season as a professional. With the Atlanta Hawks, he played in 42 games and averaged 5.5 ppg and 4.3 rpg. Following the season he went back across the pond, this time to Italy where he played for Lottomatica Roma in Italy and finished his career in Russia with Dynamo Moscow.

Today, Ekezie lives in his native Nigeria and runs a new business Zeep Travel (www.zeeptravel.com), an on-line travel company specializing in travel between the United States and Africa.