Al-Farouq Ajiede Aminu (born September 21, 1990) is an American-Nigerian professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Aminu represents the Nigerian national basketball team. He competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics. On August 30, 2015, Aminu with the D’Tigers of Nigeria won the 2015 FIBA Africa Championship (AfroBasket) in Tunisia by defeating Angola 74–65. He was also named in the All-Star Five of the 2015 Afrobasket.
On April 1, 2010 Aminu hired an agent and declared for the 2010 NBA draft. He was selected with the eighth overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers. In just his eighth game for the Clippers on November 9, 2010, he had a season-best game with 20 points (a career-high until March 31, 2016) and 8 rebounds against the New Orleans Hornets.
On December 14, 2011, the Clippers traded Aminu, Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon and a 2012 first-round pick (previously acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves) to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Chris Paul and two future second-round picks.
In the final game of the 2012–13 regular season on April 17, Aminu recorded 16 points and a career-high 20 rebounds in an 87–99 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The next day, the Hornets changed their name to the Pelicans..
On July 29, 2014, Aminu signed with the Dallas Mavericks. On February 20, 2015, he had a season-best game with 17 points and 12 rebounds in a 111–100 win over the Houston Rockets.
On July 9, 2015, Aminu signed a four-year, $30 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. On August 1, 2015, he played for Team Africa at the 2015 NBA Africa exhibition game. He made his debut for the Trail Blazers in the team’s season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on October 28, recording 9 points and 8 rebounds in a 112–94 win. On March 26, 2016, Aminu matched his career high with 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a 108–105 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. He set a new career high five days later, scoring 28 points while hitting a career-high six three-pointers in a 116–109 win over the Boston Celtics. On April 6, he scored 27 points in a 120–115 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, helping the Trail Blazers clinch a postseason berth. The Trail Blazers finished the regular season as the fifth seed in the Western Conference with a 44–38 record. In the first round of the playoffs, the Trail Blazers faced the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers, and in a Game 4 win on April 25, Aminu recorded a career-high 30 points and 10 rebounds, helping the team tie the series at 2–2. The Trail Blazers went on to win the series 4–2 and advanced to the second round where they faced the Golden State Warriors. In Game 3 of the series, Aminu recorded 23 points and 10 rebounds to help the Trail Blazers win 120–108, cutting the Warriors’ advantage in the series to 2–1. The Trail Blazers went on to lose the series to the Warriors in five games.
After starting in the Trail Blazers’ first eight games of the 2016–17 season, Aminu was ruled out for a number of weeks with a calf injury on November 11, 2016. He returned to action on December 5 after missing 13 games and had three points in 17 minutes against the Chicago Bulls. He later missed four games in mid-December with a sore back.
Career highlights and awards
Second-team All-ACC (2010)
ACC All-Freshman team (2009)
McDonald’s All-American (2008)
Mr. Georgia Basketball (2008)
FIBA Africa Championship
Gold medal – first place 2015 Tunisia Team