The 2018-19 season has started on an exciting note following many significant offseason changes, and with the thrilling action came some early notable performances from African players.
We now start highlighting players born on or with links to the continent who put up performances setting them apart from their peers on a weekly basis.
This week’s top spot in our African Player of the Week feature goes to Cameroonian All-Star Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. He was a regular presence here last season and the way he’s started off is already showing signs that he will do the same this time around.
The seven-footer from Yaoundé has become an on- and off-the-court sensation, but his numbers speak louder than his tweets. He is averaging 28.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and two blocks per game.
Embiid is shooting 50.8 percent from the field, 33.3 from 3-point range and 82.6 from the free-throw line, while averaging 34.3 minutes per game.
He has started in all of the Sixers games so far this season and has averaged a double-double. His most notable outing over the past week was in the 76ers matchup with the Orlando Magic on Sunday in which he had a 32-point, 10-rebound double-double with 34 minutes of play.
Our first runner-up this week is another sensational big guy, Nigerian-Greek forward Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. The 6-foot-11 two-time All-Star is already in some of the conversations around candidates for the 2018-19 regular-season MVP.
He has also come into the current season firing on all cylinders and is averaging a double-double as well. He also started all of the first three Bucks games and is averaging 27.3 points, 16 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game.
He’s shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 61.9 from the charity stripe in 34.7 minutes per game. His standout performance of the week came in Milwaukee’s game against the New York Knicks on Monday night in which he had a double-double with 31 points and 15 rebounds.
The second runner-up is Nigerian-American guard Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers, who has continued his explosive style of play and is already reminding fans why he received the Most Improved Player of the Year Award last season.
His numbers include 21.5 points, six rebounds and three assists per game while shooting 44.2 percent from the field, 42.9 from behind the arc and 50 from the free-throw line.
Oladipo’s top performance from the past week was in the Pacers’ win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night in which he put up 25 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals.
Honorable mentions this week go to Congolese forward Serge Ibaka, who is managing 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, one assist and 1.5 blocks per game, and Nigerian forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who is putting up 10.3 points and nine rebounds per game.
If you have any comments and suggestions regarding our selections this week, tweet us on @kwesesports with your thoughts.
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