Lakers Select Maduabum in 2011 NBA Draft, Trade to Nuggets

BAKERSFIELD, June 24, 2011 – The Los Angeles Lakers selected Chukwudiebere Maduabum with the 56th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, then traded his draft rights to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a future second round draft pick. With the selection, Maduabum becomes the first ever Jam player and the third player ever drafted from the NBA D-League by an NBA team.

“I’m very excited to join the Denver Nuggets organization. I look forward to getting to know the coaches and my teammates, and work even harder to improve each day,” Maduabum said. “It feels great to share this moment with my family, friends and past coaches who helped me get here.”

The Bakersfield Jam acquired Maduabum on March 18, 2011 from the available player pool. He appeared in 3 games with the Jam in the 2010-11 season, averaging 0.7 points in 7.0 minutes.

“Doing Basketball Without Borders and all the camps in Africa, you try to watch the young who like to play and love the game and love the gym,” said Denver Nuggets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Masai Ujiri. “He is 6-foot-9 and has a 7-foot-3 wingspan. He is 20 years old and still growing, and he jumps out of the gym. We will take a chance. We will see how he develops.”

A native of Nigeria, Maduabum played for the Dodan Warriors prior to joining the Jam, where he averaged 10.5 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 20 minutes per game.

“Chu has worked extremely hard to give himself this opportunity. We are all very proud that the Denver Nuggets recognized his potential, and we are excited to watch his continued progress,” added Bakersfield Jam Head Coach, Will Voigt.