“With the 16th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic select, Chuma Okeke from Auburn University”, was a phrase said by NBA commissioner Adam Silver on draft night.

Just like that, the Magic drafted Okeke. He is a player known for improving mightily from his freshmen year to his sophomore year at Auburn. He was probably going to be drafted higher if not for his ACL injury.

While at Auburn, there were talks on the internet that Okeke won’t be able to contribute due to his injury. The fact that the rookie showed promise is something fans should look forward to.

For starters, Okeke, who played as a small-ball type forward, saw an increase in points  per game and rebounds from his freshman to sophomore year.

Showing marked improvement

During his freshmen year, Okeke averaged 7.5 points points per game, 5.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists with .7 steals and .7 blocks. In his sophomore year, Okeke averaged around 12 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists with 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks. This shows a player that is willing to put in the time and effort to increase his presence on the court.

In addition to that, Okeke was one of the contributing players to help bring the Auburn Tigers to an SEC Tournament title. During the Sweet-16 against North Carolina, Okeke scored 20 points and snagged 11 rebounds. He left that game with his torn ACL but it inspired Auburn all the way to their first Final Four in school history. Okeke averaged 12.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 blocks and 2.6 steals in postseason play before the injury.

Understanding the timing it will take

Auburn’s head coach, Bruce Pearl, raved about his former player, mentioning that Okeke was able to turn the basketball program into a competitive force. He also mentioned how Okeke has a team-first mentality.

While Okeke will need to first go through proper rest and rehabilitation prior to joining the Magic, the future for the new rookie seems promising.

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Author Details
Content Creator at Armchair Orlando Magic , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
My name is Jonathan David and I am from a small town called Green Cove Springs, located in northeast Florida. Originally from Miami, Florida, my family moved up north, as I was entering the fourth grade. Once we moved, I eventually started getting into sports a lot more. I did soccer, basketball and running and pole-vaulting; however, the main sport that I pretty much keep up with is, basketball, specifically the NBA. Although I’ll occasionally watch track and field if it’s on ESPN. There were many reasons why I got into basketball, besides it looking like fun, one reason was because I wanted to be like Bugs Bunny from Space Jam, not Michael Jordan, but Bugs Bunny, and while my dream of being an animated character hasn’t panned out, I still enjoy playing and watching the sport. My favorite NBA team is the Orlando Magic, and I’ve been a fan since Lebron was in Miami, so when they eventually get good, people can’t say I’m a bandwagon fan.
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Content Creator at Armchair Orlando Magic , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
My name is Jonathan David and I am from a small town called Green Cove Springs, located in northeast Florida. Originally from Miami, Florida, my family moved up north, as I was entering the fourth grade. Once we moved, I eventually started getting into sports a lot more. I did soccer, basketball and running and pole-vaulting; however, the main sport that I pretty much keep up with is, basketball, specifically the NBA. Although I’ll occasionally watch track and field if it’s on ESPN. There were many reasons why I got into basketball, besides it looking like fun, one reason was because I wanted to be like Bugs Bunny from Space Jam, not Michael Jordan, but Bugs Bunny, and while my dream of being an animated character hasn’t panned out, I still enjoy playing and watching the sport. My favorite NBA team is the Orlando Magic, and I’ve been a fan since Lebron was in Miami, so when they eventually get good, people can’t say I’m a bandwagon fan.
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