african trumpet edition 14_AFRITRUMPET NEW UK 1/27/2011 11:04 AM Page 16
Ghana's Black Stars Set To Beat England
Somtochukwu Diogu An African Presence In The NBA
to enter the NBA draft. Professional career Diogu was selected 9th overall in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. On December 23, 2005, he recorded a professional career-best 27 points on 13–15 shooting, surpassing his previous best by 12 points.
On January 17, 2007, Diogu, whom Larry Bird called the "gem" of the deal, was dealt to the Indiana Pacers.
Ghana's Black Stars will play an inter- national friendly against England at Wembley. A statement on the England FA website confirmed the game will take place on 29 March.
Despite the long history between both countries, they have never played each other at senior level.
Ghana achieved the highest place of all African teams at the World Cup in South Africa last year, and were a penalty shoot-out away from the semi-
The Black Stars also made it to the final of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, where they lost to Egypt. Several key members of the African side like Michael Essien, John Pantsil, Asamoah Gyan, Richard Kingston and John Mensah play their club football in the Premier League.
There have been a handful of meetings at youth level, Ghana beat England convincingly 4-0 at the Fifa U20s World Cup two years ago, while England
Ikechukwu Somtochukwu Diogu, referred to as Ike Diogu (born September 11, 1983), is an Nigerian American professional bas- ketball player who is cur- rently playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. Diogu's parents,
both from Nigeria, moved to the U.S. in 1980 to pursue further education. They later moved from Buffalo, New York, where he was born, to Garland, Texas. Ike attended Austin Academy middle school, then enrolled at Garland High School.
Diogu stands at 6 feet (1.8 m), 9 inches (2.06 m) tall which is considered slightly
undersized for an NBA power for- ward, but he makes up
for his lack of height with his muscle, girth and 7'4" wingspan.
Diogu attended Arizona State University, where he excelled on the team under head coach Rob Evans. He garnered several honors, both in the Pac-10 Conference and nationally. He won PAC-10 Freshman of the Year, and then PAC- 10 Player of the Year in his final season with ASU, as a Junior. Many in the public speculated that Diogu would enter the draft after playing for his third season with Arizona State. On June 21, 2005, he made the decision
On June 26, 2008 (draft night), Diogu was traded by Indiana to the Portland Trail Blazers along with the draft rights to Jerryd Bayless in exchange for Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts and the draft rights to Brandon Rush to the Indiana Pacers.
Diogu was traded to the Sacramento Kings for the Chicago Bulls' Michael Ruffin on February 18, 2009.
Diogu signed with the New Orleans Hornets on July 29, 2009, but never appeared in a game for the team. He signed with the Detroit Pistons on September 27, 2010, becoming a member of their preseason roster. On October 20, 2010, Diogu was waived by the Pistons. The Los Angeles Clippers then signed Diogu as a free agent on December 22, 2010.
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