'It's like a dogfight': Taipans basketball import says competition 'unbelievable'


Nnanna Egwu, 25, says the level of competition in the NBL is 'unbelievable' after signing with the Cairns Taipans last season.

Nigerian-born Nnanna Egwu moved to the US when he was five-years-old and his love for Basketball developed from there. 

He was raised in Chicago, but he still remains connected to the country of his birth, thanks to his parents. 

"My Mum and Dad remind us that we're still Nigerian," Egwu told SBS News.

"That's part of our blood and that doesn't go away."

He said all of his extended family lives in Nigeria and that visiting the country as an adult has been one of the best experiences of his life.

"I'm looking forward to going back many more times in the future," he said. 

"I'm definitely in contact with my cousins and aunties a lot more than I used to be."

Despite his solid links to his home country, Egwu has had an impressive basketball career overseas. 

As a college player with Illinois, he became the school's all-time record holder in blocked shots.

But he wasn't selected in the 2015 NBA Draft.

After a season playing in the NBA's Development League, the powerful centre has since signed with the Cairns Taipans.

The 25-year-old has quickly become one of the NBL's best defensive players.

"The level of competition here is unbelievable," he said. 

"Every game it seems like it's going to be a dogfight."

But the Cairns import said it would be an honour to play for Nigeria one day. 

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