When will we see an NBA player from Angola?
Among the top 25 NTs (according to FIBA's ranking) the only country that never produced a single NBA player is Angola (ranked 13th). Even Iran with no diplomatic relationship with the US has an NBA player. When will we see an Angolan in the NBA? Is it because of lack of exposure? I doubt Angolan players don't want to play in the NBA; although I've read somewhere that some Angolan players (I think it was a guy who met some players at the 2006 World Championship) could not speak good English, I wonder if this is a factor.
There have been a few really good Angolan players. Most recently, Olimpiano Cipriano was playing for the Detroit Pistons in the summer league, but he was cut at the last minute. I always thought Joaquim Gomes (from Valparaiso) would make it, even when he went undrafted a few years ago.
Originally Posted by sinobball
I think part of the problem is that NBA teams don't want to take a chance on smaller African players. The stereotype of an African player is somebody like Dikembe Mutombo or Desagana Diop. Angola has some wonderful guards and forwards, but they don't get any attention because they are not seven feet tall.
That's a problem everywhere, though. NBA scouts get excited when they hear about a seven footer overseas.
There also seems to be a reluctance by Angolans to play overseas. Sometimes some of them will take jobs in Portugal or Germany (I think Gomes played in Germany), but they just don't seem to go overseas very often.