Onyeka Okongwu, born December 11, 2000, is an American professional basketball player playing for the Atlanta Hawks in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Significant achievements and accolades have marked his journey from high school to the NBA.

Quick Facts

Full Name

Onyeka Okongwu

Date of Birth

December 11, 2000 


23 years old

Birth Place

Los Angeles, California





Zodiac Sign 


Chinese zodiac



6 ft 8 in/ 2.03 m/ 203 cm


235 lbs/ 106 kg

High School

Chino Hills High School


University of Southern California

Father’s Name

Mike Okongwu

Mother’s Name

Kate Okongwu


  • Two (Chukwuemeka & Chinemya)

  • Brother Nnamid (deceased)






Basketball player




Power forward/center

Current Team

Atlanta Hawks

Jersey Number


NBA Draft

Round: 1, Pick: 6th overall, 2020
(Selected by the Atlanta Hawks)

Playing Career


Net Worth  

$5 Million

Social Media



Rookie Card

Onyeka Okongwu Early Life and Family

Onyeka Okongwu was born and raised on December 11, 2000, in Los Angeles, California, to Nigerian immigrants Kate and the late Mike Okongwu. His mother, a registered nurse, introduced him to basketball at age five, initially as a pastime, but it soon became his true passion.

Growing up, Onyeka shared his life with his now-late older brother Nnamdi, who played high school basketball and unfortunately passed away in 2014. The Okongwu family includes two younger siblings: Chukwuemeka (born 2003), a basketball forward at Chino Hills High School, and Chinemya (born 2007), who plays school volleyball.

A heartbreaking event occurred on July 15, 2014, when Nnamdi suffered a severe head injury in a skateboard accident and passed away three days later at the age of 17. Despite the tragedy, Onyeka embraced his brother’s passion for basketball, taking on the role of a big brother to his younger siblings.

Onyeka wore jersey number #21 to honor Nnamdi during his college basketball days. However, after being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA, he switched to jersey number #17 as a tribute, as his brother passed away at 17. The #21 jersey had been retired for Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins.

Raised by his mother after his parents’ divorce when he was in his early teens, Onyeka maintained a strong connection with his father, Mike Okongwu, until his father’s passing in 2021. In an emotional Instagram post, Onyeka expressed gratitude and love for his late father, acknowledging him as a true warrior.

High School Career

Okongwu’s high school career at Chino Hills High School in California was remarkable. As a four-year starter, he immediately impacted the varsity basketball team. During his first year, he played alongside basketball sensations Lonzo and LaMelo Ball, contributing to the team’s national success and securing a state championship title. His exceptional performance earned him recognition as MaxPreps co-National Freshman of the Year.

Throughout his high school journey, Okongwu continued to excel, leading Chino Hills to consecutive state titles in his junior and senior seasons. His remarkable statistics, including averaging 28 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks per game, solidified his status as one of California’s most outstanding players. He was honored with the California Mr. Basketball award multiple times, a testament to his exceptional talent and contribution to high school basketball.

College Career

Choosing to continue his basketball career at the collegiate level, Okongwu committed to the University of Southern California (USC) over other top programs. His impact at USC was immediate and profound. Okongwu showcased his versatility and skill in his collegiate debut, posting impressive numbers and earning recognition as one of USC’s standout players. He consistently delivered stellar performances throughout his freshman season, garnering attention from NBA scouts and analysts.

At the end of his first year, Okongwu decided to forgo his remaining college eligibility and declared for the NBA draft, further underscoring his potential as a professional basketball player.

Professional Career

Atlanta Hawks

Selected as the sixth overall pick by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2020 NBA draft, Okongwu embarked on his professional career with high expectations. Despite facing early challenges, including a shoulder injury that required surgery, Okongwu demonstrated resilience and determination. His breakout moment came during a game against the Indiana Pacers, where he recorded a career-high 20 rebounds and 18 points, showcasing his impact on the court.

Recognizing his talent and potential, the Atlanta Hawks solidified their commitment to Okongwu by signing him to a lucrative contract extension, highlighting his importance to the team’s future success.

Comeback from Injury

In mid-2021, Onyeka faced a setback when he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Following a six-month recovery, he made a triumphant comeback on December 17, 2021, against the Denver Nuggets, scoring 10 points. His resilience was further highlighted on January 13, 2023, when he achieved a career-high 20 rebounds and 18 points in a victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Achievements and Awards

  • 2020 First-team All-Pac-12 

  • 2× California Mr. Basketball (2019, 2018)

Net Worth and Endorsements

As of January 2024, Onyeka Okongwu’s net worth is estimated to be around $5 million. His NBA contracts, including a fully guaranteed four-year contract worth $26.42 million with the Hawks, contribute significantly to his earnings. Additionally, he has lucrative endorsement deals, including one with Adidas since February 5, 2021.

Personal Life and Social Media

Despite being in the limelight for on-court performances, Onyeka’s personal life remains relatively private. There are no records of relationships or a dating profile, suggesting that the NBA star is currently single. His social media presence, particularly on Instagram (@bio0), Twitter (@BigO21_), and Facebook (Onyeka Okongwu) reflects his dedication to basketball and moments with family.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What jersey number does Onyeka wear?

 Onyeka initially wore jersey number #21 in college to honor his late brother and switched to #17 in the NBA as a tribute.

Is Onyeka got injured?

 Onyeka faced a shoulder injury in mid-2021 but made a successful comeback in December 2021.



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