Jordan Ifeanyi Nwora (/ˈwɔːrə/ WOR;[1] born September 9, 1998) is a Nigerian-American professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Louisville Cardinals.[2][3][4][5] He plays internationally for the Nigeria men's national basketball team. Nwora won a championship with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021 before being traded to the Indiana Pacers in 2023 and again to the Toronto Raptors in 2024.

Jordan Nwora
Nwora with Louisville in 2019
No. 13 – Toronto Raptors
PositionSmall forward
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1998-09-09) September 9, 1998 (age 25)
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
NationalityNigerian / American
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school
CollegeLouisville (2017–2020)
NBA draft2020: 2nd round, 45th overall pick
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Playing career2020–present
Career history
20202023Milwaukee Bucks
2021Salt Lake City Stars
2021–2022Wisconsin Herd
20232024Indiana Pacers
2024–presentToronto Raptors
Career highlights and awards
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com

Early life

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Nwora was born on September 9, 1998, in Buffalo, New York to a Nigerian father[6] and an American mother. His father Alexander Nwora, a basketball coach, helped Jordan in developing his basketball abilities.[7]

High school career

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Nwora started playing basketball at Amherst Central High School in the 2013–2014 season, before transferring to The Park School of Buffalo for two seasons.[8] At The Park School he shot 42 percent from three-point range, leading the Pioneers to the New York State Federation Class B championship, averaging 21.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.4 steals, and 1.4 assists. His second season at The Park School saw him raise all of his season averages, turning in 23.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and 1.8 assists. He earned First Team All-Centercourt honors in both his junior[9] and senior[10] seasons playing at The Park School. Nwora continued his prep career for one more season, where he scored over 500 points at Vermont Academy, averaging 18.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in the 2016–2017 season.[11]

College career

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Nwora joined the Louisville Cardinals in 2018. In his freshman season, he averaged 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game.[12][13][14]

During his sophomore season, Nwora became a permanent starter on the team six games into the season.[15] He averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game,[16] becoming the second Most Improved Player in the NCAA and named Most Improved Player in the ACC.[17]

He was named the preseason ACC player of the year. On January 29, 2020, Nwora scored a career-high 37 points and added nine rebounds in a 86–69 win against Boston College.[18] At the conclusion of the regular season, Nwora was named to the First Team All-ACC, finishing second in the player of the year voting to Tre Jones.[19] As a junior, Nwora averaged 18 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while shooting 44% from the field.

Following the season, Nwora declared for the 2020 NBA draft.[20] He trained at Darren Fenn's XGen Elite basketball academy in West Seneca to keep in shape during the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the draft.[21]

Professional career

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Milwaukee Bucks (2020–2023)

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Nwora was selected with the 45th overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2020 NBA draft.[22] On November 24, 2020, the Bucks announced that they had signed Nwora.[23] He was assigned to the Salt Lake City Stars for the start of the NBA G League season, making his debut on February 10, 2021. Three days later, he was recalled from the Stars because of an ankle injury. On May 16, Nwora ended his rookie season by scoring a career–high 34 points on 14–23 shooting, along with 14 rebounds and 2 blocks, during a 118–112 loss to the Chicago Bulls.[24] During his rookie season, Nwora became an NBA champion, helping the Bucks defeat the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals.[25] On December 18, 2021, Nwora scored a season-high 28 points, along with 11 rebounds, in a 119–90 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.[26]

Indiana Pacers (2023–2024)

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On February 9, 2023, Nwora was traded to the Indiana Pacers along with George Hill and Serge Ibaka in a four-team trade involving the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns.[27] Nwora joined Tyrese Haliburton, Aaron Nesmith, and Jalen Smith on the Pacers, and later Obi Toppin, all selected in the 2020 NBA draft. He made his Pacers debut on February 13, recording 7 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals in a 123–117 loss to the Utah Jazz.[28] On February 25, Nwora recorded 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists on 8–12 shooting, in a win over the Orlando Magic.[29] On March 13 against the Detroit Pistons, Nwora recorded 20 points, four rebounds, and two steals.[30] On March 25 against the Atlanta Hawks, Nwora posted a Pacers season–high 33 points and added six rebounds during a loss.[31] He scored 25 of his 33 points in the 2nd quarter, setting the Pacers regular–season franchise record for most points in a quarter since tracking began in the 1996–97 NBA season.[32][33]

Toronto Raptors (2024–present)

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On January 17, 2024, the Pacers traded Nwora, along with Bruce Brown, Kira Lewis Jr. and three first-round draft picks to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Pascal Siakam.[34]

National team career

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Nwora was called up to be part of the D'Tigers for the 2019 FIBA world cup qualifier between June 28–30, 2018, by his father Alexander Nwora who is the head coach of the team. In the tournament, he averaged 21.7 points, 8 rebounds and 2.7 assists.[35] During the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Lagos, Nwora scored 36 points against Mali to be the highest scoring player for Nigeria in history,[36] breaking Ike Diogu's record of 31 points.

Nwora scored a game-high 33 points in a loss to Germany in the preliminary round of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. He led Nigeria in scoring in the tournament after averaging 21 points per game.[37]

Career statistics

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Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
 †  Won an NBA championship

Regular season

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Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2020–21 Milwaukee 30 2 9.1 .459 .452 .760 2.0 .2 .5 .2 5.7
2021–22 Milwaukee 62 13 19.1 .403 .348 .837 3.6 1.0 .4 .3 7.9
2022–23 Milwaukee 38 3 15.7 .386 .392 .860 3.1 1.0 .3 .2 6.0
2022–23 Indiana 24 11 24.6 .476 .422 .721 4.7 2.1 .5 .3 13.0
2023–24 Indiana 18 0 10.1 .451 .306 .818 1.8 1.0 .3 .1 5.2
2023–24 Toronto 34 1 15.6 .465 .347 .833 3.4 1.3 .6 .4 7.9
Career 206 30 16.3 .433 .376 .807 3.2 1.0 .4 .2 7.6

Playoffs

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Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2021 Milwaukee 5 0 6.2 .222 .250 .714 1.8 .2 .0 .2 3.0
2022 Milwaukee 8 0 2.5 .222 .000 .000 .4 .3 .0 .0 .5
Career 13 0 3.9 .222 .167 .556 .9 .2 .0 .1 1.5

College

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Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2017–18 Louisville 28 0 12.0 .464 .439 .769 2.2 .4 .6 .1 5.7
2018–19 Louisville 34 29 31.9 .446 .374 .765 7.6 1.3 .9 .4 17.0
2019–20 Louisville 31 30 33.1 .440 .402 .813 7.7 1.3 .7 .3 18.0
Career 93 59 26.3 .445 .394 .785 6.0 1.0 .8 .2 13.9

Personal life

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Jordan Nwora is the first son of Amy Nwora and Alexander Nwora, the Erie Community College and Nigerian National Basketball Team head coach.[38] His godfather is basketball coach Richard Jacob, who recruited his father from Nigeria to play for Daemen College in 1989.[39][40]

His three siblings (Ronni, Caeli, and Lex) are also interested in basketball, with his sister Ronni Nwora having played for The Park School of Buffalo and Georgia Tech.[41][42]

During the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifier in Lagos, Jordan and his father Alexander became the first father and son to represent a Nigerian national team side at the same time.[43][44]

References

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  1. ^ "2023-24 start of season NBA pronunciation guide" (Press release). National Basketball Association. October 24, 2023. Retrieved May 17, 2024.
  2. ^ "'Air' Jordan Nwora came, saw and conquered Nigeria". FIBA.basketball.
  3. ^ "Jordan Nwora: Why I chose Nigeria over USA in Basketball". CompleteSportsNigeria.com. July 6, 2018. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  4. ^ "Jordan Nwora - Men's Basketball". GoCards.com.
  5. ^ "Louisville's Jordan Nwora more than just a shooter for Nigerian team". Courier-Journal.com.
  6. ^ Hricik, Madison (July 31, 2022). "Alex Nwora, Jordan Nwora help expand sport of basketball, give back to communities". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on July 31, 2022. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  7. ^ "Playing for Nigeria my decision, not dad's –Nwora, basketball star". newtelegraphonline.com. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "Jordan Nwora Player Profile, Milwaukee Bucks, News, Rumors, NBA Stats, NCAA Stats, G League Stats, Events Stats, Game Logs, Bests, Awards - RealGM".
  9. ^ "The 2015 All-Centercourt Team: The Best in WNY".
  10. ^ "The 2016 All-Centercourt Team: The Best in WNY".
  11. ^ "Jordan Nwora - Men's Basketball".
  12. ^ "Jordan Nwora College Stats".
  13. ^ "Sports".
  14. ^ "Louisville's Jordan Nwora more than just a shooter for Nigerian team".
  15. ^ "2018-19 Louisville Cardinals Starting Lineups".
  16. ^ "Jordan Nwora Stats, News, Bio".
  17. ^ "College Basketball – Louisville's Jordan Nwora Named ACC Most Improved Player, All-ACC". March 12, 2019. Archived from the original on March 31, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  18. ^ "Nwora scores 37, leads No. 6 Louisville past BC 86–69". ESPN. Associated Press. January 29, 2020. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  19. ^ "2020 ACC Men's Basketball Award Winners Announced". theacc.com. Atlantic Coast Conference. March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  20. ^ "Louisville's Jordan Nwora enters NBA draft after All-America season". ESPN. Associated Press. April 6, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  21. ^ Rodriguez, Miguel (November 18, 2020). "Park School product Jordan Nwora hopes to hear his name during NBA Draft". Buffalo News. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  22. ^ "Nwora was selected by the Bucks with the 45th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft". cbssports.com. November 19, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  23. ^ "Milwaukee Bucks Sign Jordan Nwora". nba.com. November 24, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  24. ^ Jordan Nwora drops career-high 34 points for Milwaukee
  25. ^ Williams, Tunde (July 21, 2021). "Jordan Nwora wins NBA 2021 Championship with Milwaukee Bucks". Latest Sports News In Nigeria. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  26. ^ "Bucks' Jordan Nwora: Explodes for season-high 28 points". CBS Sports. December 19, 2021. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  27. ^ "Indiana Pacers Acquire Jordan Nwora, George Hill, and Serge Ibaka, and Multiple Second-Round Picks". NBA.com. February 9, 2023. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  28. ^ Wilson, Phillip B. (February 13, 2023). "CLARKSON, MARKKANEN LEAD JAZZ PAST PACERS 123-117". NBA.com. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  29. ^ "Jordan Nwora (18 Points) Highlights Vs. Orlando Magic". NBA.com. February 25, 2023. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  30. ^ "Leading scorer against Detroit". FOXSports.com. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  31. ^ "Explodes for 33 points in loss". FOXSports.com. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  32. ^ Collins leads deep Hawks attack in 143-130 win over Pacers
  33. ^ "Jordan Nwora set the regular-season franchise record for most points in a quarter with 25 points in the second quarter tonight". Twitter.com. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  34. ^ "RAPTORS COMPLETE TRADE WITH INDIANA". NBA.com. January 17, 2024. Retrieved January 18, 2024.
  35. ^ "International Basketball Federation (FIBA) - FIBA.basketball".
  36. ^ "'Air' Jordan Nwora came, saw and conquered Nigeria".
  37. ^ "Jordan NWORA at the Tokyo 2020 Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament". FIBA.basketball. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  38. ^ "Alex and Jordan Nwora: A new Father-Son/Coach-Player relationship in African basketball".
  39. ^ Lerner, Danielle (December 16, 2019). "Jordan Nwora's decision to return to Louisville is paying off all over". The Athletic. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  40. ^ Sullivan, Jerry (March 9, 2001). "OUT OF AFRICA ECC MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM MADE QUICK TURNAROUND UNDER NIGERIAN NATIVE ALEX NWORA". Buffalo News. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  41. ^ "Ronni Nwora's Women's Basketball Recruiting Profile".
  42. ^ "Ronni Nwora". ramblinwreck.com. August 22, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2020.
  43. ^ "Alex and Jordan Nwora: A new Father-Son/Coach-Player relationship in African basketball".
  44. ^ "D'Tigers Coach Nwora Names Son, 11 Others In Squad For FIBA World Cup Qualifiers - Complete Sports Nigeria". June 28, 2018.
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