KZ
Okpala
Position: SF
Height/Weight: 6-7 / 210 lbs
School/Club: Stanford
Status: Sophomore
Birthday: 04/28/1999

DRAFT TRADE: Traded to Miami Heat

About KZ Okpala

KZ Okpala is a long, late-blooming forward with excellent size and budding versatility on both ends. A consensus top-50 prospect in the high school class of 2017 who grew significantly late in his prep career and did not break out until his senior season, Okpala made an instant impact at Stanford after getting cleared academically and finished the year averaging 10 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Showing considerable growth for the Cardinal as a sophomore, the Orange County native emerged as one of the top prospects on the west coast averaging 16.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2 assists per game in his second year under Jerod Haase to earn All-Pac-12 1st Team honors. 

  • Has nice very good size for a forward measured at 6’9.5 in shoes at the Draft Combine with a 7’1.75 wingspan to go along with an improving 210-pound frame.  Fluid athlete who can play above the rim with a head of steam.
     
  • Played a key role for a young Stanford team that faced some significant challenges in the zone-heavy Pac-12.  Spent a lot of minutes at the small forward position but filled in at the power forward spot for long stretches as well.  Led the Cardinal in scoring getting to the rim in a variety of ways, making set shots at a strong clip in limited attempts, and filling lanes running the floor actively in transition.

Defensive Analysis

  • Promising defender with excellent tools and the potential to guard multiple positions.  Had some strong moments this season getting in the passing lanes and defending on the ball, but has a lot of room to improve off the ball.  Can cover ground impressively when he sees the play unfolding.  Ability to use his tools on the glass is a work in progress as well.
     
  • Allowed 0.815 points per Isolation possession[44th percentile] as he has room to get stronger and more physical at the point of attack, but shows solid lateral quickness. 

Career Highlights

  • 2018-19 All-Pac-12 First Team selection.
  • 2018-19 USBWA All-District and NABC All-District Second Team accolades.
  • Semifinalist for the 2018-19 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. 

Sophomore (2018-19)

  • Averaged a team-high 16.8 points and 5.7 rebounds.
  • Finished fifth in the Pac-12 in free throws made per game (4.0) and fourth in attempts (6.0).
  • Recorded four consecutive 20-point games from Jan. 9-24, against Arizona (29), Arizona State (21), Washington (22) and Utah (22).
  • Notched a career-high 30 points at California (Feb. 3).
  • Shot 46.3 percent overall and 36.8 percent from three-point range. 

Strengths

  • Modern NBA fit in terms of size, fluidity and length.
  • Has made significant improvement as a shooter.
  • Can put the ball on the floor and attack off the bounce.
  • Has solid defensive tools and instincts. 

Personal

  • Experienced a growth spurt that transformed him from a 5-10 High School Freshman into a 6-8 Junior.
  • Parents, Martin and Mary Okpala, were both born in Nigeria.
  • KZ understands a good amount of Igbo, one of the official languages of Nigeria. 

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