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Ugonna Onyekwe
Penn's Ugonna Onyekwe is expected to feature in the NBA Draft 2003 which is being shown live for the first time ever in the UK on NASN
(Photo: Penn Athletics)
Ugonna set to feature in debut live UK broadcast of NBA Draft

04 June 2003
London, England

British TV sports fans will be able to watch one of the sporting world’s most fascinating spectacles for the first time ever when NASN broadcasts the NBA Draft live and in full on Thursday 26 June.

This year’s draft is one of the most anticipated for many years on both sides of the Atlantic – both for the arrival of 18-year-old superstar LeBron James (a young player already being called “the next Michael Jordan”) and for news of London-based Ugonna Onyekwe, touted as a possible second round pick.

Five hours of NBA Draft live coverage will be broadcast from midnight on Thursday 26 June on NASN. There will be repeat showings in prime time the following day and plenty of discussion on the channel’s favourite news and talk shows including SportsDesk, Pardon The Interruption and Around The Horn.

NASN Chief Operating Officer Amory Schwartz says: “Draft days in all the major American sports are fascinating events for fans and UK viewers have been deprived of them for too long. The whole world will be watching the NBA draft and the launch of LeBron James’ professional career. And with a British player featured so high in the pre-draft predictions as well, basketball fans in this country will be watching the draft at the perfect time.”

The NBA Draft takes place each year to distribute the annual group of graduating college players around the pro league. Hundreds of college players – including several dozen from outside America – are available to the 29 NBA teams. This year Cleveland Cavaliers won the draft lottery, providing them with the chance to sign the unanimous No 1 pick LeBron James - himself an Ohio native.

But for British basketball fans, Ugonna Onyekwe is the man to watch. The 23-year-old forward from University of Pennsylvania was named Ivy League Player of the Year for the second-straight season this year. At 6ft 8ins and weighing 225lbs, Onyekwe led the Quakers in scoring last season and has been touted as a solid draft day prospect. He is one of a very select band of players from the UK to feature in the NBA Draft, the most recent being Scotland’s Robert Archibald who was picked by the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round last year.

Related Links
 » 17 Apr: Deng misses the LeBron James show
 » 26 Mar: Luol Deng sidelined for McDonalds All-American Game
 » 21 Mar: Ugonna puts on a show in Penn defeat
 » 20 Mar: Brits ready for the big dance

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