Utah Jazz sign veteran forward/center Ekpe Udoh
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz announced Friday that the team has signed forward/center Ekpe Udoh to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.
Standing 6-10 with a 7-foot-4½-inch wingspan, Udoh (6-10, 245, Baylor) enters his first season with the Jazz, after a successful stint with Fenerbahce Ulker (Turkey) from 2015-17. During the 2016-17 season, he appeared in 61 games (47 starts) in the Euroleague and Turkish Basketball Super League, averaging 11.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.9 blocks in 29.4 minutes per game.
Udoh led Fenerbahce to their first ever Euroleague title and was named Final Four MVP. He averaged 14.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.5 blocks in wins against Real Madrid and Olympiacos Piraeus in the semifinals and finals, respectively. He finished the season leading the Euroleague during league play in rebounds per game (7.8) and blocks per game (2.1) while setting a single-season Euroleague record with 68 blocks.
The 30-year-old was also named a 2017 All-Euroleague First Team member and Turkish Super League All-Star as well as a runner-up for the Best Defender Trophy.
Originally selected in the first round (sixth overall selection) of the 2010 NBA Draft by Golden State, Udoh has appeared in 270 career games (52 starts) over five seasons in the NBA with Golden State, Milwaukee and the LA Clippers. He owns career averages of 4.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 16.9 minutes.
Udoh played two collegiate seasons at Michigan (2006-08) where he was named to the All-Big Ten Defensive Team as a sophomore before transferring to Baylor. During his lone season with the Bears, he set a Big 12 and Baylor record with 133 blocks leading to All-Big 12 and All-American recognition by conference coaches and media after averaging 13.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 3.7 blocks in 35.1 minutes over 36 games.
A fan favorite known throughout his basketball travels for establishing book clubs and holding movie nights with fans, Udoh was born and raised in Edmond, Okla., where he attended Santa Fe High School. Of Nigerian descent, his full given name is Ekpedeme, which translates to “Lion.”