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Ademola Okulaja, Germany
From Fiba.com: "Ade" represents Dirk Bauermann's second-best scoring option after Dirk Nowitzki. When healthy, the Nigeria native is one of the best forwards in Europe. He has a great attitude to go with his great basketball body. He goes aggressively to the basket and rebounds very well. He's turned himself into a good jump shooter and plays excellent defence. Add to that his experience of playing college basketball with NBA All-Stars Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison and his years of playing in the Euroleague, and it's no wonder Bauermann longs to have Okulaja in the mix in Japan. But Okulaja is battling chronic knee problems which kept him out of the 2005 EuroBasket. But the 31-year-old will be extra motivated after having to watch Germany's silver medal run at home.
Still a fan favourite, Okulaja was named to the 2006 Bundesliga All-Star Game even though he hadn't played a game up to that point. He played briefly for German champions RheinEnergie Köln before moving onto Russian side BC Khimky Moscow, where he averaged about 5 points and 3 rebounds in 19 games while helping the team to the EuroCup, Russian Superleague and Russian Cup finals.
Name: Ademola Olayiwola Okulaja (add-e-MOLE-ah oh-ku-LAH-jah)
Nickname: Ade, The Warrior, Oak
Born: July 10, 1975
Origin: Lagos, Nigeria
Schools: North Carolina
Languages: German, English
Website: InterBasket & Okulaja.com
Teams (jersey): German National Team, ALBA Berlin (1999–2000), Girona (2000–01), FC Barcelona (2001–02), Unicaja Málaga (2002–03), Girona (2003–04), Benetton Treviso (2004), Pamesa Valencia (2004–05), RheinEnergie Köln (2005–06), Khimki Moscow (2006–2007), Etosa Alicante (2007)
Ibn Notes: Born in Nigeria, Ademola Okulaja moved to Berlin when he was just three years old, where young Ade learned to play basketball.
On the court, Ademola Okulaja is known as “The Warrior” because of his affinity for fighting for rebounds. Okulaja is the ground in which Dirk Nowitzki and the German National team can propel themselves from. Ademola was a large part in the surprising success Germany has had in Istanbul (4th) and Indianapolis (3rd).
Chronic knee problems has left Okulaja no longer the athletic inside-outside threat he once was. But once the warrior is on the court, look for no less than 100% from him.
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