By Amy Samin
American power forward / center Arinze Onuaku (28, 6’9”) has signed with Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv through the end of the regular Euroleague season, with an extension option. Onuaku, whose parents are Nigerian, is a very physical player who knows how to play with his back to the basket and is an exceptional rebounder at both ends of the court.
Last season (2014-15) was an outstanding one for Onuaku, who played for the Canton Charge, the farm team for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA D-League, where he posted averages of 17.5 points and 12.2 rebounds in 41 games. Near the end of the season he was called up to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he played in 6 games and contributed averages of 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 11 minutes.
Onuaku is a graduate of Syracuse University, where he averaged 9.2 points and 6 rebounds per game as well as earning the highest shooting percentage from the field in the university’s history – 64.8% career average (540 of 833).
In his first season as a professional (2010-11) Onuaku played for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the D-League. The following year he moved to Europe, playing for Klaip?dos Nept?nas of Lithuania until an injury ended his season. In 2012-13 he signed with the Canton Charge and his career began to take off, including his being named to the NBA D-League All Star team three years in a row.
In 2013-14 Onuaku posted averages of 14.8 points and 10.1 rebounds in the D-League, and also played three games for the New Orleans Pelicans and two for the Cavaliers. Before that season ended he also played for the Chongqing Flying Dragons in China.