Jahlil Okafor: Career, Awards & More

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The sturdy and whip-smart Jahlil Okafor is a Nigerian-American professional basketball player currently playing for the Zhejiang Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Okafor commenced his NBA journey with the Philadelphia 76ers and played with three other different NBA teams for six stints before heading to the Chinese League.

In the meantime, he earned NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2016.

Alike he played high school basketball for Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois, and amassed high school national player of the year honors from McDonald’s, Parade, and USA Today.

Accordingly, he earned his NCAA Championship in 2015 and Consensus first-team All-American in 2015.

Okafor with his first NBA team, the Philadelphia 76ers (Source: espn.com)
Okafor with his first NBA team, the Philadelphia 76ers (Source: espn.com)

Okafor is a respectable center performer with legitimate center size, and he’s a hoopster who can be over someone’s head when he has some momentum going on to the basket.

Uncover additional enlightening information about the Nigerian-American-born center, Jahlil Okafor, below.

Also, have a timely look at the briefly demonstrated quick facts beneath.

Quick Facts

Full Name Jahlil Obika Okafor
Birth Date December 15, 1995
Birth Place Fort Smith, Arkansas
Nick Name Jahlil Okafor
Religion Christianity
Nationality Nigerian-American
Ethnicity Mixed
  • Whitney Young High School
  • Duke University
Horoscope Sagittarius
Father’s Name Chukwudi Obika Okafor
Mother’s Name Dacresha Lanett Benton
Siblings Three (Jalen, Jamonte & Ashondre)
Age 27 years old
Height 6 feet 10 inches
Weight 122 Kilogram (270 lb)
Jersey no. 15 – Zhejiang Lions
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Black
Body Type Athletic
Profession Basketball player
NBA Draft 2015 / Round: 1 / 3rd overall pick
League NBA & Overseas
Active Years 2015–present
Sexual Orientation Straight
Marital Status Unmarried
Wife Lauren Oglensky
Kids None
Net Worth $7 million
Position Center
Current Team Zhejiang Lions
Social Media Twitter, Facebook
Merch Paperback, Jersey
Last Update March, 2023

Jahlil Okafor | Early Life & Lifestyle

A vigorous hoopster, Jahlil Okafor was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, on December 15, 1995.

His full birth name is Jahlil Obika Okafor, but he is commonly admired as Jahlil Okafor. In addition, he holds Nigerian-American nationality and follows Christianity.

Jahlil was born with mixed ethnicity to a father of Nigerian-American of Igbo descent, Chukwudi Obika Okafor, and an African-American and European-American mother, Dacresha Lanett Benton.

His parents inaugurated their bond after they confronted at Fort Smith, Arkansas, when Chukwudi used to play basketball for a regional junior college.

Father & son on the frame (Source: heavy.com)
Father & son in a single frame (Source: heavy.com)

Moreover, he spent his childhood intersecting his juncture between his mother’s residence in Moffett, Oklahoma, and his father’s residence in Chicago.

His parents played basketball; his father played power forward for West Texas A&M University, Westark Community College, and Carl Albert State College.

Additionally, his mother also played college basketball, and interestingly, they had basketball scholarships at Carl Albert State College at a similar time.


Alike, Okafor confronted the duration of down in the dumps after losing his mother when he was only 9.

His mother halted bronchitis and died due to slumped lung after two weeks of battle with the syndrome.

Then, Okafor shifted perpetually to the South Side of Chicago, and he was brought up by his father and aunt Chinyere Okafor-Conley, whom he infers as his “auntie mom.”

Further, he’s blessed with three siblings; his older sister, Jalen, and two younger brothers, Jamonte and Ashondre.

However, Okafor has given rise to his pursuit through his consecutive dedication and determination.

Jahlil Okafor | Basketball Career

High school career

Jahlil Okafor enrolled at Whitney M. Young High School in Chicago, Illinois.

In the meantime, he became one of the young players to rank in the top 10 of their respective national divisions by ESPNU.

Okafor was scrutinized as the second-best college basketball prospect in Chicago during his freshman season.

Therefore, the Chicago Sun-Times named Okafor to the Class 4A All-State first team.

Also, he was named to the second team All-State team by the Chicago Tribune and called to the Class 4A second-team by Associated Press.

During his junior year in June 2012, he was named one of the “Future Game Changers” by Sports Illustrated.

Okafor was acknowledged as the 2013 All-Public League first-team designation by Chicago Sun-Times, and in February 2013, he earned the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year.

During the senior season, he logged 35 points and 13 rebounds in a win against the St. Rita of Cascia High School and amassed its first sectional designation since 2009.

Likewise, he earned co-MVP of McDonald’s All-American Game in April 2014 after averaging 17 points and seven rebounds.

Moreover, in April 2014, he’s received first-team All-American acclaim from MaxPreps and labeled 2013-14 Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV, Athlete of the Year.

College Career

Jahlil Okafor attended Duke University and played one season of college basketball.

During that eternity, he was appointed as Preseason Player of the Year by CBSSports.com and NBCSports.com.

In the preseason, he was ranked number 3 of 100 by ESPN.

After his first three games, Okafor was named ACC Freshman of the Week, as he shot 25-for-30 on his field-goal attempts.

In January 2015, he logged a season-high 28 points over the Boston Celtics, and that led him to earn his fifth ACC Rookie of the Week and first to become the ACC Player of the Week.

Similarly, he was named USBWA National Freshman of the Year and the 2015 USBWA Freshman All-American Team by the United States Basketball Writers Association.

After successful high school and college stints, Okafor announced the 2015 NBA Draft in April 2015.

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Professional Career

Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers chose Okafor with the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.

In his debut game for the 76ers, he logged 26 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks against Boston Celtics in October 2015.

Accordingly, in November 2015, he logged his first career double-double with 21 points and added 15 rebounds against Chicago Bulls.

Okafor with Philadelphia 76ers (Source: espn.com)
Okafor with Philadelphia 76ers (Source: espn.com)

In January 2016, he labeled the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in an NBA exhibition called Rising Star Challenge.

Therefore, after finishing fifth in the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year, he earned NBA All-Rookie First Team acclaim.

In the 2016-17 season with the 76ers, he logged season-high 26 points against Washington Wizards.

Later in 2017, he scored new season-high 28 points and added ten rebounds against the New York Knicks.

Brooklyn Nets

Okafor was traded to Brooklyn Nets in December 2017.

He logged 10 points and four rebounds in his debut game against the Toronto Raptors on December 15.

Then, he recorded team-high 21 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the following season, he became an unrestricted free agent.

New Orleans Pelicans

Okafor signed with the New York Pelicans in August 2018.

In December 2018, he scored season-high 17 points in 13 minutes of action over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Likewise, in January 2019, he logged a career-high six blocks over the Detroit Pistons.

Therefore, in January 2020, he logged 25 points and added 14 rebounds in the most pleasing overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Detroit Pistons

Jahlil Okafor signed with Detroit Pistons in December 2020.

After some stints with the Pistons, he was traded to Brooklyn Nets on September 4, 2021, and subsequently, the Nets waived him.

Then, he signed with Atlanta Hawks on September 22, 2021, and he was waived shortly after by the Hawks.

Zhejiang Lions

After completing his stints with four diverse NBA teams, Okafor signed with the Chinese Basketball team, Zhejiang Lions.

Then, he signed with the Lions in February 2022, and he’s presently playing for the team.

Awards & Achievements

Okafor commenced his tremendous basketball voyage from the high school level to be in the NBA squadron.

He accumulated numerous honors and grants for his unconditional commitment during this time. 

  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (2016)
  • NCAA champion (2015)
  • USBWA National Freshman of the Year (2015)
  • Consensus first-team All-American (2015)
  • ACC Player of the Year (2015)
  • Pete Newell Big Man Award (2015)
  • ACC Rookie of the Year (2015)
  • First-team All-ACC (2015)
  • First-team Parade All-American (2014)
  • McDonald’s All American Game co-MVP (2014)
  • FIBA U-17 World Cup MVP (2012)
  • Illinois Mr. Basketball (2014)


  • FIBA World U-19 Cup in 2013 – Gold Medal
  • FIBA World U-17 Cup in 2012 – Gold Medal
  • Americas U-16 Championship of FIBA in 2011- Gold Medal 

National Team Career

US National team

Okafor played at the 2011 FIBA Americas Under 16 Championship and made decent field goal attempts and logged 18 points and 14 rebounds which oversaw the team with a gold medal.

Thus, he was labeled tournament MVP at the 2012 FIBA Under 17 World Cup and the 2012 FIBA U-17 World Cup for the team that won the gold medal.

Therefore, he logged 17 points and added seven rebounds in the gold medal game.

Okafor, with the team, won the third gold medal at the 2013 FIBA Under-19 World Championship and earned the All-Tournament team.

Nigerian National Team

Being of mixed ethnicity, Okafor represented the Nigerian national basketball team at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

In the meantime, he logged 9 points in three group stage games.

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Net Worth & Salary

The 6’10 athletic hoopster, Jahlil Okafor, has a net worth of $7 million.

Addressing the players’ salary, in the 2021-22 season, Okafor earned $2,130,023 with the Brooklyn Nets.

During his eternity with the Nets, he made 13.12 percent better than in 2020-21. And he’s the 47th best-paid center in the respective season.

In the 2020-21 season with Detroit Pistons, he accumulated $1,882,867 whereas, in 2019-20, he earned $1,702,486 with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Accordingly, in 2017-18, he earned $4,995,120 with the Brooklyn Nets.

Hence, from 2016-to 2017, he amassed $4,788,840 with the Philadelphia 76ers, and from 2015-to 16, his initial earning was $4,582,680 with the 76ers.

Exterior Features 

Assertive and second to none, Jahlil Okafor was born on December 15, 1995, and assessing his birth date, he is 27 years old.

Addressing his physical stats, he stands at a soaring height of 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m), and his body weight is around 270 lb (122 kg). The center player has a wingspan of 7’3.”

Moreover, he retains a massive frame with stability that periodically boosts him to solidify a post position.

And his post footwork is exceptional in correspondence to his size; he’s remarkably quick on his feet when he’s adjacent to the hoop.

Who is Jahlil Okafor’s Girlfriend?

Jahlil Okafor has a gorgeous bikini model, Lauren Oglensky as his girlfriend.

Furthermore, Lauren is a 2014 graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in Communications.

Okafor with his girlfriend (Source: barstoolsports.com)
Okafor with his girlfriend (Source: barstoolsports.com)

They seem like a perfect couple and relish each other’s companionship to the utmost aspect, which could be acknowledged via the pictures they are specked.

Moreover, further comprising information about one of the graceful couples is inaccessible as they’d not prefer to disclose most of their beautiful saga.

Social Media Presence

Street Fight

Okafor was involved in the fight outside an Old City nightclub after the verbal contention with a heckler in November 2015.

In the meantime, he was a player for the Philadelphia 76ers; he strived to punch the driver through an open driver’s side window.

According to the released video, Okafor pushed and punched the men during the argument.

Moreover, he was subsequently involved in a second fight again with a heckler outside a Boston nightclub.

After hours of the newly released footage in public, the 76ers declared their decision to suspend Okafor for two games.

Also, the 76ers had allotted a security guard to escort him to his protection.


Okafor had to encounter bunches of horrible injuries during his basketball journey to date.

In March 2016, he was ruled out for the remaining season due to a meniscus tear in his right knee.

Likewise, in March 2017, with the Philadelphia 76ers, he was again ruled out for the remaining season due to right knee soreness.

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Interesting Facts

  • Okafor adores playing chess, saxophone, and tuba. 
  • He’s a distant cousin of former UConn and NBA player Emeka Okafor.
  • Okafor has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and uses a CPAP machine to refine his sleep condition.
  • He’d changed his number from 8 to honor Kobe Bryant and wore number 9.

Frequently Asked Questions | FAQs

How does Jahlil Okafor infer Nigerian?

Okafor is of Nigerian descent because of his parental grandfather, who dwelled in the U.S from Nigeria when he was 20.

Is Jahlil Okafor a Vegan?

Okafor used to be a vegan, but he amended his diet after acknowledging he has an iron deficiency.

Also, he has his chef make it obvious he receives the percentage of protein in his diet.

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