Leading the way with a game-high 14 points, former Kentucky Wildcat star Evelyn Akhator helped lead Nigeria to a first-place victory over Senegal in the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket title this past Sunday. It was Nigeria’s second consecutive AfroBasket title.
You might remember Akhator as the highest-drafted WNBA player to ever come out of Lexington after she was drafted third overall in the 2017 WNBA Draft by the Dallas Wings. She currently plays overseas in Spain as a member of CB Avenida.
Playing center and standing at 6-foot-3, Akhator averaged 11 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.4 steals in five games during the tournament while shooting over 52 percent from the field. She was arguably the most efficient player on her team, as well.
While her WNBA career hasn’t quite panned out the way she might have anticipated, she dominated the competition in international play. She made a return to the WNBA earlier in 2019, however, she was not brought on board full-time after training camp ended.
An interesting side note that I noticed while watching the post-game press conference was the discovery of the coach of the Nigerian team. Otis Hughley Jr., a former NBA assistant, has been the Nigerian national team’s head coach since 2018. He was also the head coach on Loyalty Is Love, DeMarcus Cousins’ squad that won the Lexington Regional at The Basketball Tournament over the summer. Small world?
Congratulations are in order for Akhator, who we all hope to see back in the states and the WNBA sometime soon.