Chukwuemeka Ndubuisi “Emeka” Okafor (born September 28, 1982) is an American professional basketball player who is currently a free agent. Prior to the National Basketball Association (NBA), Okafor attended Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas and the University of Connecticut.
On April 16, 2004, Okafor declared his eligibility for the 2004 NBA draft, giving up his one remaining year of college athletic eligibility. He did, however, receive his undergraduate degree in Accounting/Finance in three academic years. On June 24, Okafor was selected second overall in the draft, becoming the first ever draft pick by the expansion Charlotte Bobcats. The following day, he accepted an invitation to join the United States team for the 2004 Summer Olympics, which finished with the bronze medal in Athens.
On July 28, 2009, Okafor was traded to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Tyson Chandler.
On June 20, 2012, Okafor was traded, along with Trevor Ariza, to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Rashard Lewis and the 46th pick of the 2012 NBA draft.
On October 25, 2013, days before the start of the 2013–14 NBA season, Okafor was traded, along with a 2014 protected first-round draft pick, to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall and Malcolm Lee. However, he missed the entire season due to a herniated disc in his neck that was discovered in September 2013, and remained unsigned throughout the 2014–15 season as well.
Career highlights and awards
NBA Rookie of the Year (2005)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (2005)
NCAA champion (2004)
NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (2004)
Consensus first-team All-American (2004)
Third-team All-American – NABC (2003)
2× NABC Defensive Player of the Year (2003–2004)
NABC Co-Player of the Year (2004)
Pete Newell Big Man Award (2004)
Big East Player of the Year (2004)
2× First-team All-Big East (2003–2004)
2x Big East Defensive Player of the Year (2003–2004)
Men’s Basketball Bronze medal – third place 2004 Athens United States