[Posted Mar. 11, 2017] David Nwaba became the first-ever Uni alum to play in the National Basketball Association, earning a 10-day Lakers contract after a strong season with the L.A. Defenders of the NBA Development League. And his play has earned him a second 10-day contract on March 11, essentially extending his tryout with the team for another five games.
He impressed the coaching staff with his defense, hustle and work ethic. Said Lakers coach Luke Walton, “He’s been great. … We talked about it as a staff. … He’s done everything he can to deserve another 10 days.”
For Nwaba, a Class of 2011 grad who was an all-Conference selection at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo after finishing at Uni, making it to the NBA was a dream come true. “Growing up every year, during my birthday [January 14], it was always my wish to play in the NBA,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m glad it all worked out.
“I’m just trying to make use of this opportunity right now. Give it 100 percent effort. Every day I am here and hopefully everything works out and I get another 10-day contract.”
He did. For the record, here’s a summary of his statistics during his first 10 days as a Laker:
- Feb. 28 vs. Charlotte:
5 mins. ~ 0-1 field goals ~ 0-0 free throws ~ 1 rebound ~ 0 pts.
- Mar. 03 vs. Boston:
20 mins. ~ 2-2 field goals ~ 3-4 free throws ~ 2 rebounds ~ 7 pts.
- Mar. 05 vs. New Orleans:
9 mins. ~ 0-0 field goals ~ 0-0 free throws ~ 1 rebound ~ 0 pts.
- Mar. 07 at Dallas:
8 mins. ~ 1-3 field goals ~ 0-2 free throws ~ 1 rebound ~ 2 pts.
- Mar. 09 at Phoenix:
14 mins. ~ 1-3 field goals ~ 2-2 free throws ~ 3 rebound ~ 4 pts.
Nwaba is, of course, part of the first family of Uni athletes. His older sister Barbara is the U.S. Heptathlon champion and competed in the Rio Games last summer, and younger brother Victor plays NCAA Division II basketball for Academy of Art College in San Francisco.