Emaka Okafor Bio: Career, Net Worth & Personal Life

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Basketball is the most adored and popular game these days. Indeed, many people follow it religiously. Whoever loves or watches basketball must be familiar with the name Emeka Okafor.

Emeka Okafor is one of the best basketball players in the NBA. However, if you follow basketball, you are well known that every basketball player dreams of joining the NBA.

Not so surprisingly, Emeka, in his debut season, became Rookie of the year. This proves that he is a splendid player because not everyone gets recognition in just the first season.

Emeka Okafor during a match.
Emeka Okafor during a match.

Besides, Emeka’s father supported his son and encouraged him to play basketball. When Okafor was in school, his father used to take him to learn basketball at Bartlesville YMCA.

Emeka Okafor is successful today; his hard work and passion for his game are apparent. However, Emeka’s father also has a vital role in making him successful.

Today, we dive into the life of Emeka Okafor. Here, we will discuss his early life, education, parents, net worth, career, personal life, and many more. But first, let us have an instant look at the quick facts.

Quick Facts

Name Chukwuemeka Ndubuisi “Emeka” Okafor
Birthdate September 28, 1982
Birthplace Houston, Texas, United States
Age 41 Years Old
Nationality American
Religion Unknown
Ethnicity Balck
Horoscope Libra
Father’s Name Pius Okafor
Mother’s Name Celestina Okafor
Sibling’s Name one sister (Nneka Okafor)
Cousin’s Name  A distant cousin of Jahlil Okafor
Education Bellaire High School, University of Connecticut
Height 6 ft. 10 inch
Weight 114 kg
Eye color Black
Hair Color Balck
Body Measurement Unknown
Net Worth $30 million
Career GP 52
NBA Debut 2004
Position Center/ Power forward
Residence Houston, Texas
Profession Basketball Player
Affiliation NBA
Kids 2
Salary 2014- 14,400,000, 2010- 10,400,000
Marital Status Married
Wife Ilana Nunn Okafor
Player for Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus
Merch Autograph, Jersey, and Rookie Card
Achievement NBA Rookie of the Year (2005) NBA,
All-Rookie first team (2005),
2 times First-Team All-Big East,
NCAA block leader (2003),
Four most outstanding players (2004),
2 times NABC defensive player of the year
NBA draft 2004/ Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall by Charlotte Bobcats
Social media Twitter
Last Update April, 2024

Emeka Okafor Early Life

Chukwuemeka Ndubuisi “Emeka” Okafor, famously known as Emeka Okafor, was born on September 28, 1982, in Houston, Texas.

Emaka Okafor posing for the camera.
Emaka Okafor is posing for the camera.

Likewise, Emeka was born to Pius Okafor (father) and Celestina Okafor (mother). However, he was the first person in his family who be held in the United States.

Besides, his family migrated to the United States from Nigeria. Similarly, Okafor’s father is a member of the Igbo ethnic group.

Emeka Okafor is a basketball sensation.
Emeka Okafor is a basketball sensation.

When Emeka was a child, he moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, with his whole family. It was because Emeka’s father worked for Phillips Petroleum Company, and the headquarters was in Bartlesville.

As a child, Emeka loved playing basketball. That is why his father used to take him to the YMCA to learn basketball.

Okafor went to Bartlesville High School; Undoubtedly, he was one of the best basketball players in his school. Similarly, for further studies, Okafor went to Connecticut University.

Emeka Okafor dressing up as SpongeBob.
Emeka Okafor dressing up as SpongeBob.

He started his career at a very early age. Besides, he graduated with good marks from University; Okafor majored in finance and scored a 3.8 GPA.

Emeka Okafor Career

As we all know, Okafor, from his childhood, played basketball. Likewise, he started his career early, let’s say, from his high school days.

High School Career

  • Okafor played basketball for his high school. However, in his senior season, he scored an average of 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 7 blocks.
  • The 2001 UIL playoff was vital because it featured 5 players who would play NCCA final four.
Emeka Okafor is always ready.
Emeka Okafor is always ready.
  • However, his senior year was getting less interest from top programs, so he decided to accept the University of Connecti scholarship.

University of Connecticut Career

Okafor played in Connecticut for 4 years; however, he also got the Academic All-American title in 2004.

Indeed, he gets the award for his activities inside and outside the court.

Despite having back problems, Oakfor led UConn to the program’s second national title in six seasons.

Emeka Okafor during a match.
Emeka Okafor during a match.

Besides, he was also awarded as the most outstanding player in the NCAA tournament.

Those days Emekia was given various awards. Some of his awards included National Defensive Player of the Year and Big East Player of the Year.

Besides, Oakford became a U.S. National Basketball Team member in 2004.

Nonetheless, Oakfor was inducted into the Husky Ring of Honors on the UConn campus during the men’s basketball game’s halftime.

NBA Career and Stats

In 2004, Emeka Okafor declared himself eligible to be a part of the NBA. For that, he left all his college facilities.

However, he did complete his University with good grades. Likewise, Oakford became Bobcat’s first-ever choice for the NBA draft.

Similarly, he agreed to go to the 2004 summer Olympics with the United States team on the same day. Hence, they ended up winning the Bronze medal for the United States.

Emeka on the court
Emeka on the court

Okafor was selected in his overall second draft, which automatically made him a star rookie. However, he had tremendous pressure on himself as the best player. But he did a great job, which proves he is a good player.

However, Okafor continuously had a feud with the head coach. Despite rivalries, he managed to perform well in his games.

Finally, in 2009 Emeka ended the season with 93-92 (consecutive game played- straight match started).


  • Later, in exchange for Tyson Chandler, Oakfor was drafted to New Orleans Hornets.
  • In 2011 he played his first-ever series of NBA seasons.
  • Likewise, in 2012 Oakfor was drafted to Washington Lizards. He received the TeamMate of tTeamMateward for his contribution to the team.
  • However, Okaford suffered from a neck injury in 2013. Sadly, he missed the entire season due to the injury.
Emeka making a score
Emeka making a score
  • He couldn’t play for 3 seasons due to injury. Indeed, it affected his career to some extent.
  • During these years, Oakfor also became a free agent.
  • Finally, in 2017, Oakfor recovered from the injury, and the Philadelphia 76ers drafted him.
  • After appearing in 5 preseason games, he was waived by the 76ers. However, later he joined NBA Delaware 76ers of the NBA G League.
Emeka giving his all
Emeka is giving his all.
  • In 2018, he returned to New Orleans. This was Oakfor’s second match in NBA after 2013.
  • Not surprisingly, Oakfor scored three points and two rebounds in just 9 minutes of entering the game.
  • Lastly, in 2019 he was drafted to Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus. He ended the season with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks in a 60-65 loss to Anyang KGC.

However, due to the injuries, doctors warned Oakfor not to play basketball for a long time and insisted he rests.

However, the NBA didn’t give Oakfor as many chances as he deserves. They probably couldn’t see the true gem always in front of them.

Emeka Okafor Body Measurement

At the time of writing, Emekia is 38 years old. Every year he celebrates his birthday some days before Halloween.

Besides, Okafor is an American by nationality and Black by ethnicity. He has black eyes and black hair.

Likewise, Okafor is 6ft. 10 inches tall and weighs around 114kg. As a player, he always has pressure to maintain a good physique. However, Emeka takes good care of his health and body.

All smiles.
All smiles.

According to Emeka’s birth chart horoscope, he is a Libra. People with this zodiac are usually strong, dedicated, and motivated. Likewise, Emeka is also devoted and passionate about his career.

Despite coming from an ordinary background, coming to this level may not have been easy for him. But his continuous hard work made him the person he is today.

Emeka Oakfor Net Worth

It is estimated that Emeka has a net worth of $30 million. However, other sites claim his net worth is $60 million.

Likewise, Oakfor’s salary in 2010 was expected to be $10,400,000; in 2014, it increased and became $14,400,000.

Besides, sources claim that he lives in a luxurious house with his wife and kids. Unlike other celebrities, he likes keeping his personal life private.

Besides, Emeka’s salary increases every year. If some club has to sign him, they usually pay him at least $60-70 million, which should be mentioned in the contract.

Let's take a break.
Let’s take a break.

However, as per sources, Emeka loves cars and has a wide variety of car collections. Besides, he has homes in his hometown Bellaire and Hutson.

Oakford has worked hard to be in this position, and it is not surprising that he has earned this much in his career.

Emeka Okafor Personal Life

Emeka married his girlfriend, Ilana Nunna Okafor. However, the rumors of these two dating married started in 2012. Both of them are blessed with two kids.

They got married in Hutson, Texas, in the presence of their relatives and close friends. Besides, they welcomed their first child in 2013.

Even after marriage Nunna completed her studies at the University of North Carolina and served as a Director of Public Relations at BDA sports.

Perfect family.
Perfect family.

These two love birds are madly in love with each other. Besides, Okafor is a loving and caring husband.

Unlike other husbands, he didn’t stop his wife from studying and pursuing her career. Instead, he supported her in every step.

Emeka is a family man and deserves appreciation for everything he has achieved at such a young age.

Coach Jin Calhoun speaks of Emeka and Caron Butler

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun apologizes to a newspaper columnist, Dave Solomon of the New Haven Register, just after two days when he was asked about the recruitment and comment on the improvement of Providence’s Ryan Gomes.

Yes, The Waterbury native Ryan Gomes won against UConn for the Providence with 26 points and 12 rebounds.

Calhoun lashed out at the columnist, saying, “I took Emeka Okafor and Caron Butler. They’re not bad! I can’t get everyone!” in a harsh voice that was not welcoming.

This was just the focal gist of the response that Calhoun gave. We didn’t understand why he was fired, but he said, “ I can’t take every player. We have 13 scholarships.”

And later, Calhoun apologized, realizing that lashing out was his bad, and he should not have done that in front of his peers. 

Social Media Presence

Emeka is only active on Twitter and has 20.5k followers. He doesn’t share much about his family.

Emeka' with his daughter
Emeka with his daughter

Besides, Okafor shares awareness posts other than basketball posts. Indeed, he is a good human, as well.

Emeka, without any hesitation, speaks against racism and discrimination. He believes every human is the same and should not be discriminated against.

Lastly, Emeka is a great player who didn’t get much recognization. Players like him should be addressed and encouraged.

Let’s hope to see more family posts from Emeka in the future, as his fans eagerly wait for him to post about his family.

Twitter (@BigMek50) : 20.5k followers

Most asked Questions about Emeka

Is Emeka Okafor a Hall of Famer?

No, he isn’t a Hall of Famer.

How old is Emeka Okafor?

At the time of writing, he is 38 years old.

When did Emeka Okafor made his NBA debut?

In 2004

What does Okafor mean?

Okafor means “born on Afro” Igbo tribe.

Miss. KeCy
Miss. KeCy

Anusha K.C

Anusha K.C is a dynamic writer with a keen interest in uncovering the stories that lie beneath the surface of the sports world. Her articles offer readers a fresh perspective on athletes and sporting events, blending insightful analysis with engaging storytelling.


Sports Analysis Lifestyle Coverage


  • Anusha shares inspiring stories of athletes who have overcome adversity to achieve success.
  • She explores the off-field lives of athletes, from their training routines and dietary habits.


Anusha's passion for sports journalism is rooted in a love of competition and a fascination with the human stories behind athletic achievement. With a background in writing and a keen eye for detail, she brings a unique perspective to her articles, capturing the excitement and emotion of sports with depth and insight.

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