At 46: DBB legend Ademola Okulaja has died

Age 46
DBB legend Ademola Okulaja is dead

20 years ago, Ademola Okulaja led the German national basketball team along with Dirk Nowitzki to win the only World Cup medal in their history. Now one of the greatest players to ever wear the DBB jersey is gone at the age of 46.

Ademola Okulaja dies According to information from RTL / NTV, the long-time German basketball player has passed away at the age of 46. After the end of his active career, which took him via Alba Berlin to the legendary University of North Carolina, to Spain, Italy and Russia, Okulaga remained faithful to his sport. At first he worked as a TV expert, and more recently as a gamers consultant. His biggest success as a professional was a bronze medal at the 2002 World Cup, when he led the German Basketball Association’s selection along with Dirk Nowitzki, who was three years younger than him, to the only World Cup medal to date. According to consistent media reports, Okulaja left his wife and two children behind.

The “Warrior”, nicknamed the 2.06-meter basketball player, played a total of 172 games for the German national team between 1995 and 2007. Sometimes he led the selection process as a field captain, which then saw what was probably the most successful era in its history. Fourth place in the 2001 European Championship in Turkey, bronze in the 2002 World Cup in the United States of America, and fifth place in the 2007 European Championship in Spain. Okolajá missed the 2005 European Championships in Serbia and Montenegro through injury, the DBB celebrated the silver, Nowitzki was honored as the top scorer and most important player – and Germany basketball wondered what would have been possible had it not been for this failure in the final against Greece.

As news of the Berlin-born Nigerian-born Okulaja passed away in the early hours of Tuesday evening, many companions expressed their condolences. He writes: “It is very difficult to understand and it is very sad” Marco Pesic On Twitter, in a DBB shirt he was a teammate at the time and is now the managing director of the FC Bayern Munich basketball team. He writes “Rest in Peace Warrior” Robin Benzing There, the current captain of the German selection. Jan Jaglawho was himself a 141-time international player, recognized Okullaga as a “legend”. Vince Carterwho became an NBA legend after their time together at the University of North Carolina, wrote, “It hurts so much. We’ll miss you.”

Cancer in 2008

The successes of the Nowitzki/Ukulaja era are unparalleled to this day, and the playing style of each of the exceptional pros remains a role model for many. “Three, dunks, defensive,” she wrote in appreciation of what made the deceased special, and acknowledged, “Wherever he played, deep marks remained.” Okulaja came to Alba Berlin in 1994 via DTV Charlottenburg and TuS Lichterfelde, and a year later moved to the USA. In the NCAA College League, at the University of North Carolina – where Michael Jordan once developed into a superstar. He became the first player to lead the Tar Heels in points, triples and steals for an entire season.

After the dream of participating in the NBA was initially unfulfilled, Okulaja returned to Berlin in 2000 and became German champion with Alba. The winger remained unused for three months with the Philadelphia 76ers, after which he went to Spain, first to Girona and then to FC Barcelona. Via Malaga, Girona again, Treviso in Italy and Valencia, he returned to Germany in 2006 to regain his old form after injuring his knee at Rhein Energy Cologne. After more stops in Chimki, Russia, and in Alicante/Spain, he finally ended his career in Bamberg, where he was a contractor from 2007 to 2009.

After being diagnosed with a carcinoid tumor as a result of a spinal fracture, Okulaja sat back from the summer of 2008 to recover. In the spring of 2009, the 34-year-old reported that he had beaten cancer. A year later, he officially ended his impressive career and then moved on to consulting. Dennis Schroeder helped make the leap in the NBA, and Daniel Theiss of the Boston Celtics was also one of his clients. With Okulaja, German basketball is losing one of its defining personalities.

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