Africans set to make the leap into NBA

Published 0936 GMT (1736 HKT) January 25, 2016
Bismack Biyombo Toronto RaptorsBismack Biyombo Toronto Raptors
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Congolese forward Bismack Biyombo (#8) of the Toronto Raptors is one of 10 African players in the NBA this season. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Raptors president Masai Ujiri, who is Nigerian, runs camps to develop African basketball talent. He says Africans will proliferate the NBA in the coming years. Gallo Images/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Hakeem Olajuwon won two NBA championships with the Houston Rockets and is the greatest Africa-born player to serve in the league. Olajuwon was born in Lagos, Nigeria but calls Houston home. AFP/Getty Images
Dikembe Mutombo was born in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He arrived at Georgetown University speaking no English, but graduated in 1991 with a degree in linguistics and diplomacy. The 7-foot 2-inch center played on six NBA teams, making eight All-Star appearances. Getty Images
Nigerian Festus Ezili earned a championship ring with the Golden State Warriors in June 2015. Getty Images
Cameroonian Luc Mbah a Moute was a product of the Basketball Without Borders camp, organized by FIBA and the NBA. Harry How/Getty Images
Luol Deng, who was born in Sudan and grew up in the UK, was a standout for the Chicago Bulls and now plays for the Miami Heat. Getty Images
Formerly with the Charlotte Bobcats, Senegal-born DeSagana Diop has gone into coaching -- he is an assistant with the Texas Legends of the NBA Developmental League. Getty Images
Hasheem Thabeet of Tanzania made a Final Four appearance as a college player with the University of Connecticut. He played with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA from 2012 to 2014. Getty Images
Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder was born in the Republic of the Congo, though he represents Spain in international competition. Getty Images
Senegal's center Gorgui Dieng -- seen dunking on Spain's forward Serge Ibaka (who was born in the Republic of the Congo) during the 2014 FIBA World basketball championships round of 16 match Spain vs. Senegal -- starred for Louisville in college and currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA. JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
U.S.-born Al-Farouq Aminu (right) has Nigerian parents. In July 2015 he signed a four-year deal with Portland Trail Blazers, following spells with Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans and Los Angeles Clippers. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America/Getty Images